Google To End Third-Party Parties Cookies For 1% Of Users In Q1 2024

Google To End Third-Party Parties Cookies For 1% Of Users In Q1 2024

Google has announced that it will finally start to depreciate third-party cookies for users starting next year.

In Q1 2024, one per cent of Chrome users will no longer be followed around the web by cookies. This might sound small but, given Chrome’s dominance in the web browser market, it could affect as many as 26,500,000 users.

Google is rolling out the changes to just one per cent of users in order to let developers conduct “real-world experiments” to assess the “readiness and effectiveness” of their products without the ubiquitous user-tracking tech.

At the end of this year, Google will introduce the ability for developers to simulate Chrome third-party deprecation for a configurable percentage of their users.

The plan to depreciate third-party cookies has been developed in consultation with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). To replace third-party cookies, Google has been working on a number of alternatives within its Privacy Sandbox project.

In July, it will start rolling out some of the alternative methodologies before making them generally available in Q3.

APIs for measurement and relevance will be launching with Topics, Protected Audience, Attribution Reporting, Private Aggregation, Shared Storage, and Fenced Frames all coming first. Google said it will make these APIs available gradually to monitor for potential issues. It will also roll out user controls to let them manage their advert privacy measures.

The Topics API generates signals for interest-based advertising without third-party cookies or other user identifiers that track individuals across sites.

Protected Audience selects ads to serve remarketing and custom audience use cases, designed to mitigate third-party tracking across sites. This API was previously called FLEDGE but Google decided to change it to better reflect its functionality.

Attribution Reporting will correlate ad clicks or ad views with conversions. Ad techs can generate event-level or summary reports.

Private Aggregation will generate aggregate data reports using data from Protected Audience and cross-site data from Shared Storage.

Share Storage and Fenced Frames will allow unlimited, cross-site storage write access with privacy-preserving read access and securely embed content onto a page without sharing cross-site data, respectively.

“As a leader in testing Protected Audience (formerly FLEDGE), OpenX appreciates Google’s continued commitment to working with the ecosystem to enhance consumer privacy,” said Paul Ryan, OpenX’s CTO.

“Increased traffic and cookieless testing options will significantly help the evaluation of the Privacy Sandbox solutions, such as Protected Audience, and the preparedness for Chrome’s third-party cookie deprecation.”

Lukasz Wlodarczyk, VP of programmatic ecosystem growth and innovation at RTB House, added:

“At RTB House, we value the Chrome team’s consideration of tester feedback, including the necessity to test technologies on traffic that doesn’t rely on 3rd party cookie data. We are ready to test on increased volume, plan to conduct scaled developer experiments and look forward to collaborating across the programmatic supply chain on them. We believe that the test results will enable us to further refine our solutions based on the privacy-preserving APIs so that they can compete on an equal footing with legacy technologies that rely on 3rd party cookies.”

The end of third-party cookies has been touted for a number of years but, until now, little in the way of material change had emerged. Google had been testing a range of alternative solutions and said that its interest-based audience alternatives had performed nearly as well as third-party cookie-based alternatives.

However, the delay in the depreciation of third-party cookies has meant that marketers have stuck to their colours in using the older system. In March, data from Adobe showed that nearly four-fifths of brands still relied heavily on third-party cookies despite more than half of business leaders expecting the eventual depreciation to hurt their bottom lines.

“Companies that aren’t diversifying their strategies are leaving money on the table today, and hurting their chances of gaining competitive advantages in the future,” said Gabbi Stubbs, Adobe’s APAC product marketing and strategy lead with the release of the findings.

“While a wholesale change in strategy takes commitment and long-term investment, the benefits are undeniable across all currencies that matter—from customer loyalty and satisfaction to a better bottom line.”

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