Chrome delays deprecation of 3rd-party cookies until 2024

On July 28, 2022 3rd party cookies, ad tech matters, google

Google has today announced that it is delaying plans to phase out third-party cookies in Chrome until the second half of 2024.

In order to enable this a set of proposals called ‘The Privacy Sandbox’ have been in public development, which includes the collaborative building of new digital advertising tools and APIs, to replace third-party cookies with alternatives that better protect consumer privacy and preserve peoples’ access to free content online. The Privacy Sandbox APIs will now launch and be generally available in Chrome in Q3 of 2023 after which the aforementioned phase out will begin.

As a reminder, Google states its objectives in developing the Privacy Sandbox proposals are to make the web more private and secure for people, whilst:

  1. Supporting the ability of publishers to generate revenue from advertising inventory and the ability of advertisers to secure value for money from advertising spend;
  2. Supporting a good user experience when navigating the web, including in relation to digital advertising;
  3. Providing users with substantial transparency and control in relation to their data as they browse the web; and
  4. Not distorting competition between Google’s own advertising products and services and those of other market participants.

We have previously written three articles to cover off on some the recent updates to Privacy Sandbox proposals, which includes a reminder of their core purpose, key features and what the recent updates and/or changes include:

Topics API – proposed approach to enabling cross-site interest-based advertising, without third-party cookies, which have been upgraded from FLoC to a simpler privacy-safe version of inferred behavioral targeting.

An illustration of what could be seen about 3rd party cookies (left) vs Topics (right) see below:

FLEDGE  will enable on-device auctions by the browser, to choose relevant ads for websites the users have previously visited, essentially replicating the capabilities of re-marketing. Our summary also includes info on the available active demos of this proposal and details on the dedicated FLEDGE trials.

Attribution Reporting API – designed to enable both click-through and view-through conversion attribution measurement without third-party cookies. We provide a general introduction to this key set of proposals, a summary of recent updates and some information on forthcoming origin trials and testing for industry participation – which we strongly advise our members to commit to sooner rather than later.

Our Recommendations

  • We strongly recommend regularly keeping an eye on Google’s dedicated online Privacy Sandbox timeline for the exact timings of any future updates and origin trials for all the proposals.

  • If you are a Google client, ensure your specialist staff are up-to-speed and liaising with their teams directly on how to competently understand and test the proposals sooner rather than later.

  • Lean into the dedicated Privacy Sandbox Relevance and Measurement origin trial process. Click here for more details on the testing plans, including Google’s intent to increase the traffic volumes within the related origin trials in August 2022, and extend the duration of the trials.

  • Align your planning for changes in Chrome and Android (see below) with also ensuring you are resourcing adequately to understand and test the recent updates to Apple’s SKAdNetwork, (which is now on v4.0) for measurement & attribution within iOS and iPadOS.
  • Staying on the topic of in-app… also be aware that Google have now announced that the Privacy Sandbox proposals approach has now been extended to include in-app environments (i.e. Android). For a summary of these in-app proposals simply click here

  • Perhaps most critically, use the additional time wisely and do not become complacent and reliant upon nothing changing in terms of operational obligations in the short term. Engage with all of the future-proof approaches that are emerging for marketers through the pan-industry collaborative efforts over the past 2-3 years. For further reading on these, simply follow the links below to some recent outputs for guidance:

Contextual Targeting Handbook (June 2021)

Identifiers Explainer Guide (December 2021)

Seller-Defined Audiences – An Explainer (March 2022)

1st Party Data Handbook (June 2022)

To directly access the related update blog from Chrome on this announcement, please simply follow the link below.