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Google will ban third-party cookies from its Chrome web browser in 2024. Answers to the questions of what consequences this will have, who it will affect and what compensation strategies are available are addressed in this article.
From 2024 – in all likelihood – Google will no longer allow the use of third-party cookies in Chrome. The search engine giant has been planning this step for a while, but has repeatedly postponed it. 2022 turned into 2023, and only recently did Google announce the final date: the second half of 2024.
Google gave the reason for this decision in a blog post immediately after the announcement. Developing the privacy sandbox is taking a long while. The initiative was launched by Google itself and aims to gently cushion the discontinuation of third-party cookies with all its consequences and implications for website operators and advertisers, as well as develop technologies for the time after.
A cookie is a small piece of text that is stored in the browser when a user visits a website. The web server reads this cookie the next time the website is visited, uniquely identifying the person. It is usually used to save login data, save a shopping basket for an online shop or display personalised content.
Third-party cookies are not placed by the website operator itself, but by third parties. Their main purpose is to track users, which is what makes them so essential for advertisers, as they provide detailed information about surfing behaviour, time spent on a website and the number of pages visited by users marked with cookies, enabling precise targeting.
The days of third-party cookies are numbered. They aren’t well known for being trustworthy and transparent. Quite the opposite, in fact. They make the online advertising industry look bad and probably do more harm than good. The technology is designed to monitor users' every move on the web, so it’s not surprising that there is resistance to it with justified claims for more privacy.
The aspect of misuse makes the situation even more prickly. Third-party cookies can be read and stolen if they aren’t encrypted when transmitted, which leaves the door wide open for misuse.
2024 will mean the end of cookies, at least in Google Chrome – the most widely used browser. Will this postponement grant online marketers and website operators more time and a bit of breathing space? Experts Ralf Strauss, publisher of the Marketing Tech Monitor, and Björn Gerster, Director Consulting Sales & Marketing Solutions DACH at Dun & Bradstreet, agree that waiting is not an option. Companies have to act and set the course for a cookie-free future soon. Nevertheless, hasty action is not what is called for. But the day will definitely come when cookies are banned from Chrome.