Earlier this week, Google announced that they will phase out third party cookies used in tracking customers for targeted advertisement.
Cookies files are stored on a browser (like Chrome) by websites, which can be used for various purposes including saving personal information like username and password.
Advertisers also add cookies to browsers so they can store user preferences to help them target ad messages and campaigns. This is more or less a core part of how the massive online ad industry operates.
However, with Google planning to phase out third-party cookies in its Chrome browser within the next two years, digital advertisers will have fewer data to use for targeting and retargeting ads to consumers.
Although the removal of cookies may come as bad news to advertisers, it helps create more secure data protection and privacy for Google’s users as cookies often allow advertisers to get user’s personal information.
Over the past years, Google has been facing increased pressure from regulators to strengthen privacy protections. According to Chrome engineering director, Justin Schuh, the great demand for privacy necessitated an evolution.
“Users are demanding greater privacy — including transparency, choice and control over how their data is used — and it’s clear the Web ecosystem needs to evolve to meet these increasing demands,”Justin Schuh, Chrome engineering director
When Cookies are finally phased out, third parties would not be able to have access to user’s personal data. Google will also have more control on how information is distributed thereby improving data privacy and protection.
However, Google discarding third party cookies doesn’t mean an end to the targeted advertisement. Google has revealed that it is working on changes that would allow tracking without passing personal information back to advertisers.
This is not surprising as it’s in the company’s interest to keep advertisers spending money on its websites as adverts make a huge chunk of Google’s income.
Google isn’t the first to drop the use of third-party cookies though. Apple’s Safari and Mozilla’s Firefox browsers have already blocked third-party cookies. However, it is uncertain if Google will adopt something closely related to a purpose-built identifier for advertisers used by Apple.
With its popularity and high amount of users, Google commands the phasing out of cookies means that the end is closely coming for the technology.
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