Google Defers Demise of Third-Party Cookies on Chrome

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Google has announced a delay in its plans to block the use of third party cookies in its Chrome browser. 

The plans have been pushed back until late 2023 while Google figures out how to find the right balance between user privacy and the business models of web businesses. 

The original plan was for Google to prevent advertisers, publishers and other third parties from collecting data for ad targeting. It would prevent retargeting ads being shown to users as they move from a retailer to a news website for example. 

According to Google, it needs to move at a 'more responsible pace': 

"This is important to avoid jeopardizing the business models of many web publishers which support freely available content. And by providing privacy-preserving technology, we as an industry can help ensure that cookies are not replaced with alternative forms of individual tracking, and discourage the rise of covert approaches like fingerprinting."

This was due to be introduced later this year, so it represents a stay of execution for those  businesses relying on cookies, but will equally be of concern in terms of privacy. 

Other major browsers like Edge, Firefox and Safari are all more aggressive with blocking tracking, though Chrome, with almost 70% share of the browser market, is the most significant for the ad industry. 

Google promises to publish a more detailed breakdown of its schedule on its Privacy Sandbox site, but the current plan is to phase out third party cookies over three months, from mid-2023.