Google says the cookie is here to stay until 2024
Google has again postponed the sunsetting of third-party cookies on Chrome, giving publishers, developers and advertisers more runway to innovate for a privacy-centric, anti-tracking digital ecosystem.
Leaders at Google Chrome need more time to develop privacy-preserving tech / Unsplash
News broke today that Google Chrome is once again delaying the deadline for third-party cookie deprecation. The tech giant now expects to phase out cookies in the second half of 2024.
Chrome’s vice-president of Google’s Privacy Sandbox Anthony Chavez published a blog post explaining the decision, saying that, in the process of developing new data privacy-centric solutions that meet the needs of developers, advertisers, publishers, consumers and regulators, “the most consistent feedback ... is the need for more time to evaluate and test the new Privacy Sandbox technologies before deprecating third-party cookies in Chrome.”
Ahead of the official death of the cookie, Chrome plans to extend the testing timelines for its Privacy Sandbox APIs. While web developers already have access to these APIs, Chavez says Chrome will roll out Privacy Sandbox trials to “millions of users globally” beginning next month, with plans to expand testing throughout this year and into 2023. Based on user feedback, the tech titan will iterate further with the goal of launching long-term privacy-centric solutions in the near future.
Chavez went on to say that extending the timeline of deprecation gels with Google’s agreement with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to develop effective privacy-preserving tech and give the industry more time to adapt to the changes.
Third-party cookies were originally slated for sunsetting in early 2022 – until Google announced last June that it would be extending this timeline to 2023. Since then, there has been much speculation in publishing and media that the tech giant would once again postpone its plans, both to allow itself ample time to develop new technologies and to give the industry sufficient runway to adapt to a cookieless digital world.
Per Chavez’s announcement today, industry players and Google partners are largely pleased with the move to delay deprecation. “Google’s decision to extend the timeline before phasing out third-party cookies is a welcome development for the industry that should help ensure a range of alternatives to third-party cookies that are technically robust and whose implementation has been thoroughly tested from a privacy compliance and commercial performance point of view,” said Townsend Feehan, chief executive officer at the Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe, in the same blog post. “The scaling up of the origin trial for the Privacy Sandbox APIs is also an important step to enable meaningful testing of these new technologies by a variety of players.”
Other adland heavyweights, including leaders at Yahoo Japan, Adobe and adtech firm Criteo, expressed their support for the decision.
The news arrived on the heels of parent company Alphabet’s latest quarterly results filing, which revealed that the tech company missed analysts’ estimates. Despite the less-than-ideal numbers, the company’s stock has surged today.