Google: No cookie phase-out for the time being?

03 min

For nearly a year and a half, the issue of cookieless tracking has hovered like a sword of Damocles over the heads of advertisers and web publishers. Preparations for the end of third-party cookies are in full swing. But now Google is rowing back: The cookie end is postponed until mid-2023! This was originally scheduled for the end of 2022.

How did it come to this?

Vinay Goel, Privacy Engineering Director at Google Chrome, announced in a post on the Google Blog that the Privacy Sandbox rollout schedule will need to be adjusted.

„While there’s considerable progress with this initiative, it’s become clear that more time is needed across the ecosystem to get this right.“

Vinay Goel, Privacy Engineering Director, Google Chrome

The manager responsible for Chrome thereby emphasizes that this very relevant change must take place at a “responsible pace”. Only in this way will all parties have enough time to adjust to the new circumstances. This way, Google will “create enough time for public discussion about the right solutions, ongoing collaboration with regulators, and for publishers and the advertising industry,” Goel said. This is primarily to allow advertisers to migrate their services, which in turn is important to avoid jeopardizing the business models of many web publishers. Indirectly, this statement suggests that there is simply still a lack of advertising alternatives.

What changes now because of this?

There is no change to the plan to remove third-party cookies as a tracking option. Therefore, the planned public development process still consists of three phases:

  1. Discussion of prototypes and technologies in forums such as GitHub and W3C groups.
  2. Testing of technologies in Chrome to enable transparency and feedback.
  3. Deployment of new technology after a development process is complete.

Instead, the timing is adjusted. Originally, third-party cookies were supposed to be phased out by 2022. Now, the end of the test phase is not envisioned until the end of 2022. After that, the first initiation phase will start, giving publishers and advertisers time to migrate their services. Google expects this phase to last about nine months. During this time, feedback will be collected and implemented. Phase 2 will then start, which is expected from around mid-2023. This will involve a period of around three months, during which Google will phase out third-party cookies by the end of 2023.

The image shows the new timetable until the end of cookieless tracking. Three phases can be seen here:
1st phase until the end of 2022, which includes the end of the test phase and the start of the migration of publisher and advertising services.
2nd phase until mid-2023, which includes the end of the feedback phase and the start of the phase-out of third-party cookies
3rd phase until the end of 2023, at which time third-party cookies will be completely terminated as a tracking option.
At a glance: this is the changed timetable of the cookieless tracking rollout

Conclusion

Without viable cookie alternatives, it will be difficult for web operators and web publishers, despite the extended deadline. So these are rightly racking their brains as things stand. Even if Google wants to remedy the situation with the upcoming FLoC technology, this is not an adequate replacement for third-party cookies. Exactly what the impact will be for the industry, however, remains to be seen so far.

 

Lara Meyer completed her bachelor’s degree in business administration, specializing in media business administration, at the University of Applied Sciences in Würzburg. As part of the eology marketing team, she takes care of the dissemination of the collected eology knowledge by sharing her know-how in magazines, blogs and journals.

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