Google is phasing out third-party cookies in Chrome to protect your privacy

Google Chrome
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Google is not a company most people would associate with privacy, but it has announced plans to help improve the privacy of Chrome users. The aim is to make third-party cookies obsolete with a new set of standards.

Tracking cookies are commonly used by advertisers to gather information about people to help deliver better targeted ads – but the information gathered can also undermine privacy. In Safari, Apple chose to simply block third-party cookies, Google says this simply encouraged advertisers and other companies to use more subversive methods of tracking.

Justin Schuh, director of Chrome Engineering, explains: "We're developing techniques to detect and mitigate covert tracking and workarounds by launching new anti-fingerprinting measures to discourage these kinds of deceptive and intrusive techniques, and we hope to launch these measures later this year."

Google is not going to just jump in and make changes willy-nilly; it makes a lot of money from advertising and needs to keep advertisers happy. In developing new standards and a new web ecosystem, the company says it will work with publishers, developers and advertisers to help build "a more trustworthy and sustainable web together".

Privacy Sandbox

It's nearly six months since Google announced Privacy Sandbox, a movement to create a new open standard which would allow for targeted advertising without unnecessary invasion of privacy. Now, over the course of the next two years, the company plans to phase out support for third-party cookies in Chrome.

At the same time, Google will also take steps to limit some cross-site tracking which could be used by advertisers and others to build up detailed user profiles. The company also says that it is working to find ways to prevent circumvention of these privacy-enhancing measures.

Via Reuters

Sofia Elizabella Wyciślik-Wilson
Freelance writer

Sofia is a tech journalist who's been writing about software, hardware and the web for nearly 25 years – but still looks as youthful as ever! After years writing for magazines, her life moved online and remains fueled by technology, music and nature.

Having written for websites and magazines since 2000, producing a wide range of reviews, guides, tutorials, brochures, newsletters and more, she continues to write for diverse audiences, from computing newbies to advanced users and business clients. Always willing to try something new, she loves sharing new discoveries with others.

Sofia lives and breathes Windows, Android, iOS, macOS and just about anything with a power button, but her particular areas of interest include security, tweaking and privacy. Her other loves include walking, music, her two Malamutes and, of course, her wife and daughter.

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