Google is pushing back its plans to eliminate support for third-party cookies, buying the advertising industry more time to adapt.
Third-party cookies are one of the most commonly used methods advertisers use to track individuals as they move across the web. Apple’s Safari, the second-most popular browser behind Google’s Chrome, already blocks third-party cookies by default. This makes it more difficult for advertisers to track users and build a profile about them.
Google had previously planned on following Apple’s lead by early 2022. Because advertisers have built an entire industry around surreptitiously tracking users as they browse the web, and building detailed profiles on them, the thought of being cut off from one of the primary ways to do so caused much hand-wringing among ad companies.
Google is now saying it will not begin making the change until mid-2023, with the process completed approximately three months later in late 2023. The company said the revised timeline would provide advertisers the time they neede to adapt and adopt more privacy-conscious advertising methods.
This will allow sufficient time for public discussion on the right solutions, continued engagement with regulators, and for publishers and the advertising industry to migrate their services. This is important to avoid jeopardizing the business models of many web publishers which support freely available content. And by providing privacy-preserving technology, we as an industry can help ensure that cookies are not replaced with alternative forms of individual tracking, and discourage the rise of covert approaches like fingerprinting.