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Google shifts phase-out of cookies in Chrome browser to 2025



Google has shifted its plan to phase out third-party cookies in the Chrome browser to 2025, citing the need to give regulators some time.

The company disclosed this in a blog post on Tuesday ahead of its Q1 2023 report. Google said it is still working with the ad industry and regulators on the plan, including the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which is conducting a review of its practices.

Cookies are small pieces of data that a website sends to a user’s browser, which are often used to record browsing activity for advertising purposes. Banning third-party cookies is expected to give Chrome browser users data privacy.

Google said it has been talking with publishers, marketers, and regulators about its plan to replace cookies, which software marketers use in tracking people’s online activities and tailor ads accordingly, through an initiative known as the Privacy Sandbox.

Providing an update on the plan to phase out cookies by Q4 this year, the company said:

The latest announcement makes it the third time Google has pushed back its original deadline set in January 2020. Back then, the tech giant had promised to phase out third-party cookies “within two years” to beef up security for users while surfing the web.

In February this year, the CMA ordered Google to halt its phase-out of cookies until it had addressed anticompetitive concerns.

Specifically, publishers and ad tech companies prompted the CMA to investigate concerns that the Privacy Sandbox gives preferences to the market position of Google’s ad products, especially Google Ad Manager.

Google’s decision to phase out cookies echoes moves by Apple Inc., which shook up the digital ad market in 2021 by restricting advertisers’ access to user data in its operating system.

Meanwhile, Google started testing its Tracking Protection feature in Chrome in early January. The feature, which was enabled by default as part of the test, allows users to block and unblock third-party cookies.