Google Chrome Introduces Alternative to Third-Party Cookies

Google Chrome new feature, Privacy Sandbox, tracks users’ behaviour and collects data in the browser instead of using third-party cookies.

Google Chrome Introduces Alternative to Third-Party Cookies

According to the company’s blog post, Google Chrome rolled out its built-in tracking and ad-curation platform, “Privacy Sandbox,” on Sept. 7 for general availability (97% of the browser users).

Initially, the new tracking system was launched to a small number of select users. Currently, still not all Google Chrome users can avail of the new feature. However, Google said the remaining 3% will be onboarded over the next few months.

The company first introduced the concept of Privacy Sandbox in 2019. Its main aim, according to the tech giant, is to eliminate the privacy concerns from third-party cookies and fingerprinting.

However, many experts such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, criticized the new tool, stating that it continued to track users’ behaviour in the same way web cookies do, only within the browser instead of third-party platforms. Moreover, the digital privacy advocacy group suggested some data collection methods of Privacy Sandbox could be even more invasive than those of traditional cookies.

Per rough estimations, over 80% of websites use Google’s Adsense service to generate ads on their pages. Adsense embeds cookies in the user’s browser to track users’ shopping and searching behaviour and to determine suitable ad offerings.

Such a practice of using third-party cookies raises privacy concerns. Thus, many users and browsers block them either by default or optionally.

Google, on the other hand, believes that blocking cookies without a viable alternative in Chrome browser “has unintended consequences that can negatively impact both users and the web ecosystem.”

Earlier, Google’s ad revenue model faced legal challenges in India.

Nina Bobro

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Nina is passionate about financial technologies and environmental issues, reporting on the industry news and the most exciting projects that build their offerings around the intersection of fintech and sustainability.