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Third-Party Cookies Will Be Around Longer As Google Delays Privacy Sandbox

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Google has delayed Privacy Sandbox rollout by about a year. The company is now aiming to completely phase out third-party cookies from Chrome by the end of 2023. This will allow “sufficient time” for the general public, regulators, publishers, and the advertising industry to prepare for the change. “It’s become clear that more time is needed across the ecosystem to get this right,” the company said.

Google delays Privacy Sandbox rollout

Google’s Privacy Sandbox initiative, along with its Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) technology, aims to upend online advertising. FLoC will replace third-party cookies from Chrome to protect user privacy. At the same time, it will also give businesses and advertisers enough data for targeted advertising.

For starters, cookies allow advertisers to track your online activities. As you move between different websites, advertisers will get a better idea of your interests. Companies then use this data to show you ads that might actually interest you. However, this also means companies are creating a profile of what you do on the internet, thus compromising your privacy.

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Google now wants to move away from third-party cookies and develop a privacy-first web with FLoC. Instead of tracking you individually, this new technology will create large groups of people with similar interests. Chrome will create your ad profile locally and then hide you in those groups, so companies can’t identify you individually. Meanwhile, since every such group will have specific interests, advertisers will still be able to serve targeted ads to users.

Of course, Google’s FLoC was met with criticism from all corners of the internet. Opponents of the idea argue that FLoC will allow the company to manipulate the advertising industry and unfairly extend its lead in the businesses.  However, the internet giant has maintained that it will better protect user privacy. It is now giving the industry more time to address those concerns and delaying the implementation of the Privacy Sandbox initiative.

Privacy Sandbox will arrive beginning in late 2022

Google says it will begin the Stage 1 rollout of Privacy Sandbox in late 2022. During this stage, publishers and the advertising industry will be able to migrate their services to the new technology. This stage could last for up to nine months, the company says.

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Once all publishers and advertisers are on board, Google will start phasing out support for third-party cookies in Chrome. The Stage 2 rollout will begin in mid-2023 and will take over three months for completion. Google is targeting a “late 2023” timeline to completely phase out third-party cookies from Chrome. The company says it will provide a more detailed schedule on privacysandbox.com “soon.”