Google Further Postpones Third-Party Cookie Deprecation In Chrome

Google has again delayed its plan to phase out third-party cookies in the Chrome web browser. The latest postponement comes after ongoing challenges in reconciling feedback from industry stakeholders and regulators.

The announcement was made in Google and the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) joint quarterly report on the Privacy Sandbox initiative, scheduled for release on April 26.

Google states it “will not complete third-party cookie deprecation during the second half of Q4” this year as planned.

Instead, the tech giant aims to begin deprecating third-party cookies in Chrome “starting early next year,” assuming an agreement can be reached with the CMA and the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

The statement reads:

“We recognize that there are ongoing challenges related to reconciling divergent feedback from the industry, regulators and developers, and will continue to engage closely with the entire ecosystem. It’s also critical that the CMA has sufficient time to review all evidence, including results from industry tests, which the CMA has asked market participants to provide by the end of June.”

Continued Engagement With Regulators

Google reiterated its commitment to “engaging closely with the CMA and ICO” throughout the process and hopes to conclude discussions this year.

This marks the third delay to Google’s plan to deprecate third-party cookies, initially aiming for a Q3 2023 phaseout before pushing it back to late 2024.

The postponements reflect the challenges in transitioning away from cross-site user tracking while balancing privacy and advertiser interests.

Transition Period & Impact

In January, Chrome began restricting third-party cookie access for 1% of users globally. This percentage was expected to gradually increase until 100% of users were covered by Q3 2024.

However, the latest delay gives websites and services more time to migrate away from third-party cookie dependencies through Google’s limited “deprecation trials” program.

The trials offer temporary cookie access extensions until December 27, 2024, for non-advertising use cases that can demonstrate direct user impact and functional breakage.

While easing the transition, the trials have strict eligibility rules. Advertising-related services are ineligible, and origins matching known ad-related domains are rejected.

Google states the program aims to address functional issues rather than relieve general data collection inconveniences.

Publisher & Advertiser Implications

The repeated delays highlight the potential disruption for digital publishers and advertisers relying on third-party cookie tracking.

Industry groups have raised concerns that restricting cross-site tracking could push websites toward more opaque privacy-invasive practices.

However, privacy advocates view the phaseout as crucial in preventing covert user profiling across the web.

With the latest postponement, all parties have more time to prepare for the eventual loss of third-party cookies and adopt Google’s proposed Privacy Sandbox APIs as replacements.

Featured Image: Novikov Aleksey/Shutterstock

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