Google Chrome's cookie-replacing tools are set for launch

Google IO 2021
(Image credit: Google)

Google’s Privacy Sandbox initiative, which sees third-party browser cookies being replaced with a series of APIs, is finally one step closer with the launch of Chrome 115.

In a blog post regarding the latest version of Chrome, developer relations engineer Adriana Jara described how Topics API “allows a browser to share information with third parties about a user's interests while preserving privacy.”

Topics that could be of interest are recorded from browsing activity without actually tracking the sites an individual visits, which is then sent on to inform relevant ads without the associated data that cookies entail.

Chrome without cookies

According to a report by The Verge, Google is likely to enable APIs for around one-third (35%) of browsers over the course of this week, with plans to enable them for the majority (99%) of browsers when Chrome 116 becomes available (likely in mid-August 2023).

Currently, Google’s progress with regard to Privacy Sandbox looks to be on track as per a May 2023 announcement that it would enable APIs starting with the July Chrome release. This is despite some early delays to the program.

Looking ahead, the next stages are for Google to deprecate third-party cookies for one percent of Chrome users in the first three months of 2024, helping developers to deepen their real-world analyses of how the new APIs are set to change browsing and online tracking.

During the final three months of this year, Google also hopes to allow developers to simulate third-party cookie deprecation in Chrome for some users, facilitating controlled testing.

Following the testing phase, Google currently maintains its plans to phase out third-party cookies entirely by Q3 2024.

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Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!