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Google delays phasing out of third-party cookies until 2023

Google has announced that it has delayed its plans to get rid of third-party cookies in its Chrome browser until 2023, on the back of commitments made to the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) following a formal investigation launched into the tech giant’s Privacy Sandbox earlier this year.

Google touts the Privacy Sandbox as being an initiative to create technologies that protect consumer privacy, while supporting digital businesses to keep the web open and accessible. But there have been several questions over whether aspects of it could be in breach of regulations.

To address this, Google offered up a set of commitments to the CMA. Chrome and others have offered more than 30 proposals around the types of solutions that the Privacy Sandbox could deliver. Each proposal will go through a discussion and testing phase before being declared ready for adoption. Four of these proposals are currently available in origin trials.

Google aims to deploy key technologies for Chrome by the end of 2022, giving the industry time to begin adopting solutions before starting to phase out third-party cookies in mid-2023. Google expects it to take up to nine months for publishers and advertisers to migrate their services to the new APIs, and it will review adoption and feedback before starting the process of pulling the plug on cookies, which it expects to take three months.

“We believe that the Privacy Sandbox will provide the best privacy protections for everyone. By ensuring that the ecosystem can support their businesses without tracking individuals across the web, we can all ensure that free access to content continues,” said Vinay Goel, Privacy Engineering Director for Google Chrome in a blog post. “And because of the importance of this mission, we must take time to evaluate the new technologies, gather feedback and iterate to ensure they meet our goals for both privacy and performance, and give all developers time to follow the best path for privacy.”