Google Chrome web browser will phase out support for third-party cookies in a move intended to provide more user privacy. Cookies have been an integral part of marketing for a long time now, but they’ve become known for tracking user activity in ways that some users consider a violation of their privacy.
Google’s announcement to phase out third-party cookies by the end of 2022 was made in a blog post on September 24, as an update to their original plan announced in December of 2018.
Chrome users will no longer be able to enable third-party cookies, and Google will implement measures that make it harder for website owners to collect data using third-party cookies.
After the change takes effect, users will need to give explicit consent before a site can store third-party cookies on the user’s browser.
There are still plenty of hurdles ahead for Google and other tech giants who are trying to demonstrate a willingness to prioritize user privacy, but many consider this a big step.
What Exactly Are Cookies?
For those unfamiliar with what cookies are, they’re small pieces of data that websites send to your device to keep track of your browsing habits. They do this to show you more relevant content next time you visit them again.
Why Google Is Phasing Out Cookies Now
Privacy advocates have long pushed for the elimination of third-party cookies, which are associated with user tracking and which are set by advertisers. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been fighting against these cookies for the past decade.
Along with that, the general public has shown increased concern over their privacy on the web. It’s thought that Google wants to get ahead of this concern. They probably hope gain the trust of more users in terms of privacy policies and identity protection by being proactive.
If the move helps them get ahead of the likes of Apple or Microsoft in anyway, it’s a win.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of a Cookie-Free World
If you’re a business owner or member of an organization, your website likely uses to cookies still. These can be very helpful in determining who is visiting your site and what their interests or needs are.
Apart from that, phasing out third-party cookies will offer some benefits, including all of the following:
- It will help in protecting user data against malicious actors and breaches
- Users will benefit from more targeted advertising as the advertisers will have to rely on other methods of tracking user data, such as Google Analytics
- A cookie-free internet will bring down the overall internet traffic significantly as the current tracking mechanism is very inefficient
- The overall speed of browsing will improve as the size of the data is reduced
How Will Google Achieve This?
It’s been a long drawn out battle for Google to make this happen. And it seems that the company has finally won as it managed to convince Mozilla to join their mission.
Mozilla has agreed to integrate Google’s anti-tracking technology into the Firefox browser so that it can block cross-site tracking. This is a big step since Mozilla is one of the top browsers in the world.
Google’s initiative will not just end with blocking third-party cookies. It will also prevent cross-site scripting and other types of risks for user data.
Google has also integrated a new feature into Chrome called ‘Site-Isolation’ that prevents multiple instances of a site from reading or writing cookies from each other. Site-Isolation will also help in improving browsing speed by reducing the amount of data sent back and forth between the browser and the website.
This will limit the damage caused by malicious actors. This all adds up to a notable increase in privacy and security for Chrome.
A Simple Alternative to the Need for Cookies: Digital Signage
Now that your marketing team will need a more visual medium for their advertising, it’s a perfect time to invest in or spend more time on a digital signage strategy.
Digital signage has become one of the most important tools for marketers over the past several years. It’s more affordable now than ever before, totally customizable, and highly effective.
Digital signage doesn’t rely on cookies, because your target demographic is already in front of the screen showing them content. There’s no need to track potential customers if you already have a captive audience, such as in a waiting room or lobby.
Digital signage is not going away anytime soon, unlike tracking cookies.
Cookies are quickly becoming an obsolete technology. Although they’re still widely in use, Google’s announcement should be a signal to marketers to start looking at alternatives.
The best solution is to get a digital signage system and a partner that can provide the majority of the content that is displayed on your digital screens. Then, all the content on these digital signs will be specific to the products and services that your office or company provides, and targeted for your audience.