Alphabet Inc’s Google reiterated its intent to phase out third-party cookies which works as an ad tracking technology from Chrome and assured its users that it will not build alternate identifiers to track individuals as they browse across the web in an upcoming overhaul aimed at tightening up privacy. “As our industry has strived to deliver relevant ads to consumers across the web, it has created a proliferation of individual user data across thousands of companies, typically gathered through third-party cookies. This has led to an erosion of trust,” David Temkin, director, product management, ads privacy and trust, Google, said in a blogpost. Google aims to roll out the changes by next year.
The search engine giant has been working on proposals to remove from Chrome so-called third party cookies, which are snippets of code used by a website’s advertisers to record browsing history in order to show users personalised ads. Further, Google states that when it comes to alternative trackers, these solutions are unlikely to meet the rising consumer expectations for privacy. “We don’t believe these solutions will meet rising consumer expectations for privacy, nor will they stand up to rapidly evolving regulatory restrictions, and therefore aren’t a sustainable long term investment,” Temkin said.
As per the post, while the industry has tried to offer relevant advertisements to consumers, the manner in which it has been done has led to a general erosion of trust. People shouldn’t have to accept being tracked across the web in order to get the benefits of relevant advertising and advertisers don’t need to track individual consumers across the web to get the performance benefits of digital advertising, Temkin claims.
According to Google, there have been several advances in aggregation, anonymization, on-device processing and other privacy-preserving technologies, which offer a clear path to replacing individual identifiers. Google has been testing Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) as one way for advertising and claims that the latest FLoC can hide an individual in a group. “Our latest tests of FLoC show one way to effectively take third-party cookies out of the advertising equation and instead hide individuals within large crowds of people with common interests,” it added.
However, Google will still be able to track users itself through data collected from its services like Search, Maps and YouTube.