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Google delays ending third-party cookies on Chrome

Google has delayed the removal of third-party cookies from Chrome until next year, amid regulatory reviews and industry feedback.

has once again postponed its plans to phase out third-party cookies on its Chrome browser, with a new completion target set for next year. Initially committed in 2020 to discontinuing these tracking tools by 2023 and then 2024, the tech giant had begun to make headway earlier this year by disabling cookies for one percent of Chrome users. However, this initiative has since been put on hold.

The delay stems from Google's with the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The tech company is ensuring that its new tracking and measurement tools, known collectively as the Privacy Sandbox, comply with competitive standards. Google has stated that it needs to wait for the CMA to review the results from industry tests, expected by the end of June, before moving forward.

The Privacy Sandbox has been the subject of controversy, receiving criticism from various industry players such as adtech companies, publishers, and advertising agencies. These groups have raised concerns that the new tools are cumbersome to use, do not adequately replace the functionality of traditional cookies, and potentially consolidate too much power under Google. This feedback has contributed to the decision to delay the removal of cookies until next year.

Regulatory scrutiny and industry reactions

The Privacy Sandbox tools have also caught the attention of other regulatory bodies, including the UK-based Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). A report suggested by the Wall Street Journal indicates that these tools might still allow advertisers to identify consumers, which has raised alarms about privacy implications.

Despite the controversies, there is a strong desire within the advertising industry to eliminate third-party cookies. Drew Stein, CEO of adtech data firm Audigent, expressed to Engadget the need for Google to fulfil its promise of a better ecosystem without these cookies. Conversely, the CMA has shown readiness to maintain third-party cookies if the alternatives proposed by Google result in greater issues. Craig Jenkins, CMA's director of digital markets, noted that implementation of the Privacy Sandbox tools might be postponed if they cannot satisfactorily address the prevailing concerns. The outcome of these developments is now expected in 2025.

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Emma Job
Emma Job
Emma is a freelance news editor at Tech Edition. With a decade's experience in content writing, she revels in both crafting and immersing herself in narratives. From tracking down viral trends to delving into the most recent news stories, her goal is to deliver insightful and timely content to her readers.

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