Google delays the Phase out of Third-party cookies

The search engine giant Google is pushing back its plan to phase off third-party cookies, which many advertisers use to track ads in its Chrome web browser until starting in mid-2023.

Originally, Google had planned to phase out cookies in Chrome by early 2022, as part of an initiative it has dubbed Privacy Sandbox.

The delay is related to “our engagement with the United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)” — the British regulatory agency that announced a formal investigation of Google’s Privacy Sandbox project in January — and “in line with the commitments we have offered,” Vinay Goel, privacy engineering director for Chrome, wrote in a blog post.

Google has said the elimination of cookies is in response to privacy concerns. But critics said the new system devised by the internet giant poses a different set of privacy issues and could strengthen Google’s dominance of digital advertising.

“We need to move at a responsible pace,” said Google privacy engineering director Vinay Goel.

Among the things Google has promised the U.K. regulators: that it will “engage the CMA and the industry in an open, constructive and continuous dialog” and that it will not give its own advertising products or sites any preferential treatment.

“We plan to continue to work with the web community to create more private approaches to key areas, including ad measurement, delivering relevant ads and content, and fraud detection,” Goel said.

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