Google plans to end support for third-party cooking in a
bid to improve user privacy while still keeping publishers happy. It will take
a couple of years to make third-party cookies and cross-website tracking
obsolete, but the first steps have already been taken.
Third-party cookies are one way websites track users and
their online activity. They serve various roles, including delivering dedicated
ads or details about the credentials. For example, if you ever looked for a
product online, you will notice that websites will display ads for that
particular product wherever you go.
Some existing Internet browsers such as Firefox already allow
users to block third-party cookies and website trackers. But the problem needs
to be fixed at a more fundamental level, and the best way to do that is to
force websites to phase out these types of cookies. When Google Chrome
developers stop supporting them, websites will have to comply.
“Chrome will limit insecure cross-site tracking starting
in February, by treating cookies that don’t include a SameSite label as
first-party only, and require cookies labeled for third-party use to be
accessed over HTTPS,” said
Google Chrome developers.
“This will make third-party cookies more secure and give
users more precise browser cookie controls. At the same time, we’re developing
techniques to detect and mitigate covert tracking and workarounds by launching
new anti-fingerprinting measures to discourage these kinds of deceptive and
intrusive techniques, and we hope to launch these measures later this year.”
Another side effect of using tracking and third-party
cookies is something called “fingerprinting.” Websites can amass a large
quantity of data on a particular user, creating a buyer profile that can be
It’s a significant problem for Google to solve, but if
they are successful, it would radically change how ads are served and how users
can control their personal data.