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:
Discussion of prototypes and technologies in forums such as GitHub and W3C groups.
Testing of technologies in Chrome to enable transparency and feedback.
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.
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.
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