Google Postpones Third-Party Cookie Deprecation Amid U.K. Regulatory Scrutiny

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Google has once again pushed its plans to deprecate third-party tracking cookies in its Chrome web browser as it works to address outstanding competition concerns from U.K. regulators over its Privacy Sandbox initiative. The tech giant said it’s working closely with the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and hopes to achieve an agreement by the end of the year. As part of the

Google has once again pushed its plans to deprecate third-party tracking cookies in its Chrome web browser as it works to address outstanding competition concerns from U.K. regulators over its Privacy Sandbox initiative.

The tech giant said it’s working closely with the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and hopes to achieve an agreement by the end of the year.

As part of the new plan, it aims to start phasing out third-party cookies early next year, making it the third such extension since the tech giant announced the plans in 2020, postponing it from early 2022 to late 2023, and again to the second half of 2024.

Privacy Sandbox refers to a set of initiatives that offers privacy-preserving alternatives to tracking cookies and cross-app identifiers in order to serve tailored ads to users.

While Google has since enabled the features to a subset of Chrome browser users as of last year, the U.K. watchdog, alongside the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), has been keeping a close eye on the implementation to ensure that Privacy Sandbox benefits consumers and doesn’t favor Google’s own advertising tech.

Both Apple and Mozilla both discontinued support for third-party cookies in 2020.

“We recognize that there are ongoing challenges related to reconciling divergent feedback from the industry, regulators and developers, and will continue to engage closely with the entire ecosystem,” Google said in an update.

“It’s also critical that the CMA has sufficient time to review all evidence including results from industry tests, which the CMA has asked market participants to provide by the end of June.”

In a setback for Google, a draft report from the ICO revealed that the company’s proposed replacements have gaps that advertisers could exploit to identify users, effectively undermining the privacy and anonymity objectives, according to the Wall Street Journal last week.

The development comes as Google said it’s updating client-side encrypted (CSE) Google Meet calls to include support for inviting external participants, including those without a Google account.

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 The Hacker News 

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