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May 19, 2023

Google will deprecate cookies for 1% of its users

The privacy sandbox APIs can be tested on a larger scale in advance of third-party cookie deprecation

Google has unveiled new details about its Privacy Sandbox initiative and the timeline for deprecating third-party cookies in Chrome, marking a significant step towards enhanced user privacy. In the first quarter of 2024, Google plans to deprecate third-party cookies for 1% of Chrome users. This move will allow developers to test their cookieless products in real-world environments, gauging their readiness and effectiveness. To facilitate this transition, Google will enable developers to simulate deprecation for a configurable percentage of their users in the fourth quarter of 2023, testing higher levels of traffic.

The decision to deprecate third-party cookies comes after multiple delays in the timeline, which was originally announced in 2020. However, Google has remained dedicated to eliminating third-party cookies due to privacy and transparency concerns associated with these tracking mechanisms. While marketers are aware of the impending change, many have been slow to embrace alternative solutions for targeting digital users. The clearer timeline provided by Google could be the much-needed push for them to begin adapting their strategies.

The recent announcement also sheds light on what advertisers, agencies, and ad-tech companies can expect in the lead-up to the full deprecation of third-party cookies, set to occur in the second half of 2024. Industry players actively preparing for the cookieless future have been testing Google's Privacy Sandbox solutions and shared their perspectives in a Google blog post. According to Paul Ryan, CTO of programmatic ad exchange OpenX, the increased traffic and cookieless testing options will greatly aid the evaluation of Privacy Sandbox solutions, such as Protected Audience. This will enhance the preparedness for Chrome's third-party cookie deprecation.

Lukasz Wlodarczyk, vice president of programmatic ecosystem growth and innovation at martech firm RTB House, expressed readiness to conduct scaled developer experiments and collaborate across the programmatic supply chain. Wlodarczyk believes that the test results will enable further refinement of their solutions, leveraging privacy-preserving APIs to compete on par with legacy technologies reliant on third-party cookies.

The latest information from Google signifies a crucial milestone in the industry's journey towards a more privacy-conscious digital landscape. By outlining a concrete timeline and providing testing opportunities, Google is empowering developers and marketers to adapt and innovate within a cookieless ecosystem while prioritizing user privacy and data protection.

Google's plans to deprecate third-party cookies in Chrome have taken a step forward with the announcement of a timeline and testing options. The move aims to address privacy and transparency concerns associated with third-party cookies while enabling developers to refine and test their cookieless products. Industry players are optimistic about the opportunities this shift presents and are actively preparing for the cookieless future. With the second half of 2024 as the target for full deprecation, the advertising and ad-tech landscape is set for significant transformations that prioritize user privacy and drive innovation.

Neil Hodgson Coyle
Neil Hodgson-Coyle
Editorial chief at TechNews180
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