On January 14, Google announced that Chrome will phase out the use of third-party cookies across websites within “two years.”
A cookie is a small text file that refers to the data that some websites store on a user’s local terminal in order to identify the user. Third-party cookies are cookies that are created on a third-party domain name, not on the domain name you visit. Online advertisers are the most common source of third-party cookies. Third-party cookies are a commonly used tool in programmatic advertising that is accurately delivered across platforms.
In a blog post published on January 14, Google stated that it hopes to develop alternative tools to “maintain ad-supported sites”, thereby “making obsolete third-party cookies” within two years.
Justin Schuh, director of engineering at Chrome, said in a blog post that the move was designed to encourage publishers, advertising companies and other browser providers to help Google create a set of open web standards focused on privacy. In August 2019, Google launched the “Privacy Sandbox” program, which put forward the idea of how to publish ads online without third-party cookies, and has always attracted industry comment.
Schuh said that Chrome will only begin to reduce the use of third-party cookies after “these methods address the needs of users, publishers, and advertisers, and we have developed tools to mitigate the negative effects.”
According to Digiday’s report on the day, the anti-tracking function has become an important bet for various web browsers, but this is a headache for content providers and advertising technology providers.
After Apple’s continuous efforts to enhance the Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature in Safari, the stock prices of several ad tech companies have declined. Stat counter estimates that Safari’s share of the global browser market is about 18%.
With the upgrade of Apple’s Safari browser’s smart anti-tracking feature and Firefox’s enhanced tracking prevention feature set as the user’s default option, programmatic advertising revenue reported by ad content publishers has plummeted.
In addition, Microsoft also launched a new Edge browser on January 15th, which is based on the same open source code as Chrome, and also has the anti-tracking feature set as the default option.
According to the Financial Times on January 15, Google Chrome was launched 10 years ago, but it has now dominated the desktop browser market. Chrome will make changes in restricting the flow of data to advertising agencies and brokers, and digital marketers call this trend the “doomsday of cookies.”
But like some privacy-focused reforms implemented in the United States and Europe, this move may strengthen the power of large Internet gatekeepers such as Google, such as Amazon and Facebook, who have accumulated a large amount of internal data for their users. Will become more valuable as a result.
The above report believes that such changes may make Chrome a more important intermediary, save user information, and selectively share it with agencies that want to publish targeted ads.