Google has revealed that it has plans to phase out support for third-party tracking cookies in Chrome within the next two years.
The announcement is part of Google’s new initiative, Privacy Sandbox, “to develop a set of open standards to fundamentally enhance privacy on the web,” with the aims of making the web more secure and private for users.
In a blog post, Justin Schuh, director of Chrome engineering explained that following an initial dialogue with the “web community”, Google is confident that a healthy, ad-supported web can be sustained in a way that can make third-party cookies obsolete, through numerous approaches including “continued iteration and feedback, privacy-preserving and open-standard mechanisms like the Privacy Sandbox.”
Once the approaches has addressed the needs of advertisers, publishers and users, and tools have been created to reduce workarounds, Google will plan to phase out support for third-party cookies in Chrome within two years.
“Users are demanding greater privacy–including transparency, choice and control over how their data is used–and it’s clear the web ecosystem needs to evolve to meet these increasing demands.”
These demands have led browsers to block third-party cookies which Google believe has a negative impact. Browsers blocking third-party cookies undermine the business model of many ad-supported websites, which in turn encourage the use of opaque techniques such as fingerprinting and subsequently further reducing user privacy and control.
In addition, Schuh added that in February, Chrome will start limiting insecure cross-site tracking by requiring cookies identified for third-party use to be accessed over HTTPS. This will allow third-party cookies to become more secure and provide users with more precise browser cookie controls.
Google is also developing techniques to detect and reduce covert tracking and workarounds by launching new anti-fingerprinting measures. This will hopefully be released later this year.
“We are looking to build a more trustworthy and sustainable web together, and to do that we need your continued engagement.”
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