Google’s announcement on January 14, 2020 “Building a more private web: A path towards making third part cookies obsolete” will eliminate third-party cookies within 2 years.
To find out why this is important and how it could impact you, lets start off with defining what a cookie is. A cookie is a small piece of text that is sent to your browser by a website you visit. This text helps the browser remember information about your visit, such as the secure connection information (SSL), device type, location, etc. All of this information combined helps make your next visit to the website easier and faster.
However, there is more than just one type of cookie. The difference in 1st, 2nd and 3rd party Cookies are that first party and second party cookies are those established by the browser and hosting server. However, the cookies impacted by the Google announcement are third party cookies — ones established by firms that do not control browser access to your website or application, but that partner with the hosting site, typically advertisers associated with major platforms like Google or Microsoft fall into this category.
So why now? Users are demanding greater privacy of their data including the choice and control over how their data is handled. The move away from cookies represents a need to better protect people while they are using websites. Many people now are comfortable with entering their information on a website with the understanding that it is being protected, but this isn’t always the case. Just like a website a browser can be attacked or manipulated to the point where the user believes their information is being securely collected when it is actually being sent to an untrusted site and possibly phished.
Google’s new initiative has created an open-source “Privacy Sandbox” which will allow developers and the web community to provide feedback from participants and generate proposals that address the current privacy issues of 3rd party cookies. This Privacy Sandbox is also where they are creating and testing approaches to address the needs of users, publishers, and advertisers.
Final Thoughts: Google’s announcement to make 3rd party cookies obsolete is not as scary as it might sound. Not only has the initiative been taken by Google, but they have already received great feedback from the community and Google is confident with the continued feedback they have been getting that they will have an answer within 2 years and possibly start testing by the end of 2020. It is refreshing to know that Google as well as many developers around the world that have supported Google’s game plan and heard the voice of the web to make it not only more secure and private for users but also to make the internet better.