Sunday, May 26, 2024

Google Chrome Takes the First Leap, Restricting Cookies on the Path to Elimination

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Google has initiated the process of restricting third-party cookies for certain users of its Chrome web browser. This marks the initial phase of a larger plan to eventually phase out these files due to growing privacy concerns. Google had previously announced its intention to eliminate cookies in 2020.

However, the complete elimination of third-party cookies is contingent upon the approval of Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority. This regulatory body is currently assessing the potential impact on other businesses. The move towards limiting third-party cookies aligns with broader industry trends aimed at enhancing user privacy and data protection in the online environment.

As per earlier plans, Google Chrome is set to limit third-party cookies by default for 1% of its users initially, starting from Thursday, with the intention of expanding to 100% of users by the third quarter of 2024, according to an official blog post from the company. Cookies, which are small files used for targeted advertising through web navigation tracking, have faced increased regulation, including the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) implemented in 2016 and California’s privacy regulations.

Third-party cookies, which are deposited by visited websites rather than the browser itself, are facing changes as part of Google’s plans announced in January 2020. Initially, the company aimed to phase out third-party cookies within two years, but the timeline has experienced several delays.

To replace third-party cookies, Google is developing an alternative system for Chrome. Instead of tracking individual users, this system focuses on what is known as Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC). FLoC involves grouping together hundreds or thousands of people into audience segments for targeted advertising purposes.

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