Google insists ad-supported web will remain ‘healthy’ despite plan to phase out third party cookies

Google has insisted that a “healthy, ad-supported web” will still be maintained despite its plan to phase out third party cookies within two years.

The search giant confirmed the move yesterday as it reacts to demand for greater privacy.

Third party cookies follow users from site to site tracing their browsing habits.

The development follows the launch last August of Privacy Sandbox that Google said will develop a set of open standards to “fundamentally enhance privacy on the web”.

“Our goal for this open source initiative is to make the web more private and secure for users, while also supporting publishers,” Google’s director of Chrome engineering, Justin Schuh, said in a blogpost.

“After initial dialogue with the web community, we are confident that with continued iteration and feedback, privacy-preserving and open-standard mechanisms like the Privacy Sandbox can sustain a healthy, ad-supported web in a way that will render third-party cookies obsolete.”

Once approaches have addressed the needs of users, publishers, and advertisers, third-party cookies in Chrome will be phased out, he said.

“Our intention is to do this within two years. But we cannot get there alone, and that’s why we need the ecosystem to engage on these proposals,” Schuh said.

Google has been grappling with the issue of privacy for some time, as users demanding greater privacy. Schuh said people want “transparency, choice and control over how their data is used”.

“And it’s clear the web ecosystem needs to evolve to meet these increasing demands,” he wrote.

But he argued that while some browsers have blocked third-party cookies, the “unintended consequences” of such a move are negatively impact users and the web ecosystem.

“By undermining the business model of many ad-supported websites, blunt approaches to cookies encourage the use of opaque techniques such as fingerprinting (an invasive workaround to replace cookies), which can actually reduce user privacy and control,” he said. “We believe that we as a community can, and must, do better.”


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.