Alphabet Inc.’s Google will eliminate advertising cookies in its Chrome internet browser by “late 2023,” the company said, pushing out a timeline that the $378 billion digital advertising industry is watching closely.
Google first pledged in 2020 to remove third-party cookies within two years, barring the software trackers that let marketers use browsing data from other websites. The company then began trials of software tools to replace cookies with a solution that allows ad targeting without identifying individual consumers or letting prices for online ads crater. The tools have received a lukewarm reception from some media and marketing companies.
“While there’s considerable progress with this initiative, it’s become clear that more time is needed across the ecosystem to get this right,” Vinay Goel, a Chrome engineering director, wrote in a blog post on Thursday.
Goel said Google will implement the phase out of cookies in two stages: a nine-month trial for web publishers, developers and advertisers, starting in late 2022, then a final three-month period in 2023.
Ad cookies helped create an enormous, convoluted industry of web advertising, which Google leads. But these trackers have come under assault with a wave of privacy laws and changes. Apple Inc. removed third-party cookies from its Safari browser and forced marketers to get consumer permission for tracking. Google has moved more gingerly, mindful of its own massive ad-tech business as well as its increasing antitrust scrutiny.
Earlier in June, U.K. Regulators said Google’s upcoming Chrome changes would cut off competition and drain publishers of revenue. In response, Google committed to put limits on the use of consumer data and not give any privileged access to its own properties.