On June 24, 2021, Google announced it is delaying plans to phase out third-party cookies in its Chrome browser until 2023, instead of the planned 2022 timeline. Although an extension has been put in place, other browsers like Safari and Firefox have already implemented some default blocking against third-party tracking cookies, further emphasizing that it’s never too early to start your plan of action for when third-party cookies are removed from Chrome.
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Why is Google Extending its Plan to Remove Third-Party Cookies from Chrome?
As a general overview, here are the key things you need to know:
- Google’s decision seems driven by the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)’s investigation into the company’s Privacy Sandbox approach to replacing third-party cookies.
- There will be a three-month roll-out for phasing out third-party cookies ending in late 2023.
- On July 13, Google will end its current trial of FLoC, its most popular Privacy Sandbox proposal for tracking people and targeting ads.
- Google plans to test different cookieless ad methods in development as part of its Privacy Sandbox initiative.
- This new timeline doesn’t mean that you should pause your plan for how to continue personalization for marketing and advertising in a cookieless world. It will have a major impact on your campaigns.
What is the New Timeline for Third-Party Cookies Going Away?
In the blog post announcing the delay, Google says that decision to phase out cookies over a “three month period” in mid-2023 is “subject to our engagement with the United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).” In other words, Google plans to work more closely with regulators to come up with new technologies to replace third-party cookies for use in advertising.
The company is promising a “more detailed schedule” will be posted on its Privacy Sandbox website. Google’s blog mentions, “After this public development process, and subject to our engagement with the CMA, our plan for Chrome is to phase out support for third party cookies in two stages:
- Stage 1 (Starting late-2022): Once testing is complete and APIs are launched in Chrome, we will announce the start of stage 1. During stage 1, publishers and the advertising industry will have time to migrate their services. We expect this stage to last for nine months, and we will monitor adoption and feedback carefully before moving to stage 2.
- Stage 2 (Starting mid-2023): Chrome will phase out support for third-party cookies over a three-month period finishing in late 2023.”
What Does This Mean for You?
Although Google has provided an extension, that doesn’t mean that companies should put a pin in their plan of action for third-party cookies deprecating. Building trust with customers has been the motivator for browsers to do away with third-party cookies. The shifts regulations have inspired in privacy practices over the past few years make it clear marketing trends are moving towards transparency. Privacy legislation has also helped shift consumer expectations and awareness.
More and more, people want to know what types of data you’re gathering about them and how you’re using it. There are other ways to create hyper-targeted, measurable campaigns, collect data directly from consumers, and protect your revenue. These methods of data collection will also prove to consumers you’ll respect their data, and provide a value-exchange for it. We will see organizations take different approaches to the end of third-party cookies.
You’ll still need a Consent Management Platform (CMP) in order to comply with regulations and capture consent for other types of cookies and tracking technologies. Additionally, some of the new approach we foresee include integrating with the walled gardens new privacy-focused features sets. You also may want to sync with leading ID Solutions, such as the Trade Desk UID2 or ID5 to target users based on their behavior and data collected from other touchpoints.
Perhaps the most reliable approach is capturing first-party data, information collected directly from your audience or customers, including data from behaviors, actions, or interests, and building your own data set to target. This approach will help maximize personalization and revenue based on the reliability of the data collected from consumers.
On-demand webinar: Third-Party Cookies Are Ending: What Does This Mean for Your Website?
- Download The Complete Guide to First-Party Data
- Learn more about OneTrust’s First-Party Data Solutions
- You still need a Consent Management Platform (CMP) to follow regulatory requirements. Get your first one free.
Next steps to learn more about the end of third-party cookies:
- Watch the webinar: Third-Party Cookies Are Ending: What Does This Mean for Your Website?