Google's bidding goodbye to cookies: A game-changer for ads?

Google has finally rolled out the Tracking Protection feature that blocks out third-party cookies by default. Here's everything you need to know!

Google's bidding goodbye to cookies: A game-changer for ads?

Sunday January 14, 2024,

3 min Read

2024 will be the last year users will get cookies, at least that is what Google hopes to do. Despite having legal troubles from the UK's competition authority which led to repeated delays, the tech giant has taken a step to move the world to a "cookieless future".

Starting from January 4th, Google has rolled out the Tracking Protection feature for a random 1% of internet users. This feature automatically restricts third-party cookies as a default setting when users browse websites.

According to Gizmodo, approximately 30 million people in the world will not get cookies- forever. Here is all you need to know about this new upcoming update and how it will affect the advertising industry!

What are cookies and are they bad?

Internet cookies are made by a web server when you are visiting a new website. In short, it contains data about your internet activity so that a website can identify you and improve user experience. Additionally, websites use this information to understand user preferences.

Apart from that, there are also authentication cookies (HTTP cookies) which are required for security purposes. Although cookies have been in the limelight raising privacy concerns, their purpose is not just to process data. Internet cookies help a website show relevant advertisements, keep items in the cart while shopping, etc.

Does India have any laws on internet cookies?

For a long time, India did not have any specific law on the regulation of internet cookies. However, user consent for allowing cookies has been a part of legal compliance. That was until 11th August 2023 when the Indian government passed the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill (DPDPA).

DPDPA Act serves the primary purpose of protecting user's privacy and data. According to this law, from June 2024, businesses must ask for explicit consent for internet cookies and other types of data processing.

Why is Google bidding goodbye to cookies?

Google

Google has been pitching the idea of disabling internet cookies for a long time as a part of its Privacy Sandbox project. The tech giant plans to replace third-party cookies with different tools that group users according to their interests from their recent browsing activity.

So, advertisers can use this information to display ads without disclosing the identity of users. However, the United Kingdom's competition authority and advertisers strongly opposed this move. Hence, Google had to delay their operations of killing third-party cookies.

If everything goes well, Google will completely remove third-party cookies forever by Mid-2024.

What is the Privacy Sandbox?

Google announced the Privacy Sandbox project back in 2019 which aims to bring user anonymity while also bringing an alternative way (without cookies) to send target ads. According to the new standards set by Privacy Sandbox, cookies will be replaced by 5 application programming interfaces.

The bottom line

Internet cookies have been a part of the "Good or Bad" debate for a long time now. However, the vanishing of cookies also means a change coming in the way advertising and marketing will work. So far, artificial intelligence tools have shaped business operations which has increased productivity but has raised privacy concerns as well.

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