Google chooses to eliminate third-party cookies by the end of 2024

Google choose to eliminate third parties' cookies
Google has definitively decided to eliminate third-party cookies. This choice has sparked discussions about privacy and online advertising among many marketing experts, who will no longer be able to access external data for user profiling. Instead, they will be forced to focus exclusively on data from their own customers, challenging them to find new strategies for targeting and personalizing advertising campaigns.

Why did Google decide not to use third-party cookies?

Cookies are small text files stored on the user’s device during online browsing. They are divided into two main categories: first-party cookies, created directly by the visited website to store information such as browsing preferences, and third-party cookies, generated by domains external to the visited site and often used to track user activity across different sites. For example, analytics cookies allow websites and apps to understand how users interact with their services. A well-known example is Google Analytics, which uses a series of cookies to collect data for companies using the service, generating statistics on the usage of the sites. Similarly, advertising tracking cookies allow Google to show personalized ads to users, using the collected information to tailor advertising to user preferences and behaviors. Therefore, Google has chosen to eliminate the use of third-party cookies in order to improve user privacy. This decision was also influenced by the measure taken in June 2022 by the Italian Data Protection Authority against Caffeina Media srl. This measure establishes that website operators using Google Analytics and transferring data to countries without adequate protection guarantees violate the GDPR.

Impacts of cookie elimination

Since Google Chrome is one of the most widely used browsers globally, this move will directly impact the tracking capabilities of advertisers and those in the advertising industry. Without third-party cookies, it will become more challenging for companies to monitor user activity across multiple websites and create detailed profiles for advertising purposes. This could lead to a reduction in the effectiveness of targeted advertising and push advertisers to explore new strategies and targeting technologies based on first-party data or other sources of information. Additionally, there might be an increased reliance on proprietary advertising platforms such as Facebook Ads or LinkedIn Ads, as they may offer alternative solutions for advertising targeting.

Privacy Sandbox: a new initiative by Google

As an alternative to third-party cookies, Google is launching a project currently in development: Privacy Sandbox, aimed at developing new strategies for managing privacy on the Web and on Android. It consists of a set of proposals and technologies designed to balance user privacy with the needs of advertisers and online publishers. Let’s see in detail the 3 points on which this Google initiative is based.
  • Development of new privacy technologies: Privacy Sandbox is committed to creating new methods that allow users to keep their information private while browsing the web, with new technologies under development such as differential privacy.
  • Supporting free online content: another key aspect of Privacy Sandbox is to enable publishers and developers to keep their online content free even without ads. This will be achieved through the implementation of more sustainable advertising models that do not rely solely on third-party cookies. This means that, while ensuring user privacy, efforts are also made to preserve the economic model that supports many online services, allowing them to continue offering quality content without direct costs to users.
  • Collaboration with the industry for new privacy standards: Privacy Sandbox is not an isolated initiative by Google, but rather an invitation to the entire industry to collaborate in defining new privacy standards on the Internet. This involves not only other tech giants but also advertisers, publishers, and regulators. The goal is to create an online ecosystem where user privacy is a shared priority, and where everyone works together to ensure a safe and privacy-respecting environment for all online users.

Will Google succeed in its endeavor?

Google is indeed aiming for a revolution in the landscape of online advertising with its new initiative. However, it’s important to consider that all the technologies it’s implementing are still in development, and there isn’t yet a definitive solution. So it remains to be seen whether Google will fully realize its vision and what alternatives will emerge to replace third-party cookies. Stay tuned to discover how these innovations will impact the world of online advertising and whether Google will be able to lead this change.