Google has announced that it is expanding the testing of Privacy Sandbox APIs to more population, essentially postponing the phasing out of third-party cookies in Chrome to 2024. This is a part of deploying Privacy Sandbox — its solution to provide more private, targeted advertising on the Internet. Google says that it got feedback from developers, publishers, marketers, and regulators asking for more time to evaluate as well as to test the new technologies before disabling third-party cookies in Chrome. Google in 2020 had said it intended to deploy the solution “within two years”.
Anthony Chavez, Vice President at Privacy Sandbox, gave a timeline of how Google intends to deploy its Privacy Sandbox technologies in the Chrome browser. The company is expanding the scope of testing Privacy Sandbox APIs starting in “early August till the end of the year” and “into 2023.” Google expects that the Privacy Sandbox APIs will be launched by Q3 2023 and will be generally available in Chrome. It intends to “begin phasing out third-party cookies in Chrome in the second half of 2024.”
Google said that it has worked with developers, publishers, marketers, and regulators via forums like the W3C to refine design proposals. It also reached an agreement with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on how to develop and release the Privacy Sandbox in Chrome worldwide. As per the Privacy Sandbox website, the proposals are in various stages of the development process.
“The most consistent feedback we’ve received is the need for more time to evaluate and test the new Privacy Sandbox technologies before deprecating third-party cookies in Chrome. This deliberate approach to transitioning from third-party cookies ensures that the web can continue to thrive, without relying on cross-site tracking identifiers or covert techniques like fingerprinting,” Chavez said in the note.
As mentioned, Google had earlier said that it will start to phase out third-party cookies from Chrome browser “within 2 years”. These third-party cookies are used by companies to track users’ activities on the internet which raised concerns about privacy violations. Google’s Privacy Sandbox solution will limit sharing of user data with third parties and operate without cross-app identifiers, including advertising ID. This will result in delivery of more targeted ads as well as making healthy, ad-supported web rendering third-party cookies obsolete.
Commenting on Google delaying the removal of cookies, Iván Markman, Chief Business Officer at Yahoo said, “The future of identity lies in the ability to leverage direct, consumer-consented sources and to be smarter about signals that are not attached to a consumer’s identity. While any delay gives the industry more time to test and learn, adapting solutions today brings greater reach across all inventory — with or without IDs.”