Google delays killing off cookies

Mariam Cheik-Hussein
By Mariam Cheik-Hussein | 25 June 2021

Google is delaying its plans to phase out third-party cookies to 2023, saying more time is needed to work with regulators and the industry to develop tools.

Third-party cookies were scheduled to be phased out by next year and replaced with tools from Google’s Privacy Sandbox.

However, now the tech giant says its goal is to have key technologies deployed by late 2022 for developers and subject to its “engagement” with the UK’s Competition And Markets Authority, (CMA) Chrome could phase out the cookies over a three-month period, starting in mid-2023 and ending in late 2023.

“In order to do this, we need to move at a responsible pace,” says Chrome privacy engineering director Vinay Goel.

“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 jeopardising 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.”

In January this year, the CMA announced a formal investigation into Google’s Privacy Sandbox to look at what impact it would have on competition.

As a result of the investigation, Google made a set of commitments earlier this month, including to engage the CMA during its development of Sandbox proposals, and work with the regulator to resolve any concerns.

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