Google promises not to use alternatives to third party cookies

Company is phasing out user tracking facility on Chrome browser

Google said in January it planned to block third party cookies from its Chrome browser in two years.

Google said in January it planned to block third party cookies from its Chrome browser in two years.

 

Google has pledged not to build alternatives to cookies to track individual users on the web once it phases out third-party cookies from its Chrome browser, the company said.

Google said in January it planned to block the cookies from the browser in two years. That would give it time to implement more privacy-preserving methods of targeting advertising, such as the grouping of users with common interests together and advertising to the group, rather than individuals.

Activities

Third-party cookies can allow advertisers to track a user’s internet activities and build a profile that can be used to target advertising to individuals. Other browsers such as Safari and Firefox block third-party cookies.

“We continue to get questions about whether Google will join others in the ad tech industry who plan to replace third-party cookies with alternative user-level identifiers. Today, we’re making explicit that once third-party cookies are phased out, we will not build alternate identifiers to track individuals as they browse across the web, nor will we use them in our products,” said David Temkin, director of product management for Google’s ads privacy and trust .

“We realise this means other providers may offer a level of user identity for ad tracking across the web that we will not – like PII graphs based on people’s email addresses. We don’t believe these solutions will meet rising consumer expectations for privacy, nor will they stand up to rapidly evolving regulatory restrictions, and therefore aren’t a sustainable long-term investment. Instead, our web products will be powered by privacy-preserving APIs [Application Programming Interface] which prevent individual tracking while still delivering results for advertisers and publishers.”

Support

Google said it would continue to support first-party relationships on its ad platforms for partners, where there are direct connections with customers.

The move comes amid an erosion of trust among consumers, who are becoming increasingly aware of privacy online.

Chrome will debut the first round of new user controls in April, expanding it further in future releases.

“People shouldn’t have to accept being tracked across the web in order to get the benefits of relevant advertising. And advertisers don’t need to track individual consumers across the web to get the performance benefits of digital advertising,” Mr Temkin said.

“Advances in aggregation, anonymisation, on-device processing and other privacy-preserving technologies offer a clear path to replacing individual identifiers.”