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Why Google Chrome Is Planning To Phase Out Third-party Cookies

And that’s the way the cookie crumbles…

Google Chrome is next in line to phase out third-party cookies, joining Safari and Firefox in a monumental move that will change the way we experience internet browsing.

Unlike Safari and Firefox, however, Google Chrome is preparing to block third-party cookies in its browser in a phased approach, which means it won’t be until 2022 that we see a change to our internet privacy settings.

What exactly are third-party cookies?

We’ve all heard about internet cookies, but what exactly do they do?

Cookies are essentially the bread and butter to our internet browsing experience. They store data so that our online experience is customised and suited to our perceived interests – which is probably why that shirt you were hovering on purchasing from H&M’s website last week won’t leave you alone.

When it comes to the different types of cookies, there are two types: first-party and third-party cookies. There isn’t much of a difference, apart from how they are created and used.

  • First-party cookies are stored by the website you are visiting directly. Website owners can collect analytics data, remember language settings, and perform a number of other useful functions to personalise user experience.
  • Third-party cookies are created by domains, which can be used for cross-site tracking, retargeting and ad-serving.

Why did Google make the decision to block third-party cookies?

Google announced in August of last year that its new set of open standards was a way to enhance online privacy for web users. Their goal was to essentially make the web more private and secure for users, while also supporting publishers.

According to Justin Schuh, Director of Google Chrome Engineering, the decision came after they learned that third-party cookies were impeding the privacy of those using a Chrome browser.

“We are looking to build a more trustworthy and sustainable web together, and to do that we need your continued engagement,” writes Schuh.

“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.”

Despite the decision being well-intended, there has been a large-scale debate about how this will ultimately affect businesses and their bottom line.

How has this decision been received by those who rely on third-party cookies for business?

With Safari and Firefox already reportedly blocking third-party cookies, Google’s announcement didn’t come as a shock. However, due to the sheer number of advertisers using third-party cookies as a source for content direction, it did send waves of panic through the marketing industry.

Given the importance of cookies to the marketing sector, this is understandable.

Over the past two years, we have seen a wide number of policies enacted which aim to protect the privacy of web users. From the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) act in 2018 to YouTube’s decision to stop targeting ads to children earlier this year, it has become increasingly difficult for marketing agencies and advertisers to collect data from online users as a way to strategically develop content.

How do we at Bear see it?

We at Bear, however, see Google’s decision to phase out third-party cookies as an important step towards increased privacy and online safety for online users. While it may mean a shake-up to the way advertisers engage with online users, it’s forcing businesses to focus on their creative side to engage with audiences – something that has fallen on the wayside since the introduction of user data collection.

Where can you learn more about digital advertising?

From conception and design to campaigns to putting the message out there, we’re here to help you elevate the way you tell your brand’s story. We’d love to talk with you about unique, effective and creative ways to boost your online engagement to ensure your message is received, loud and clear. Contact us today to learn more about how to keep your content on the cutting edge.

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