(Bloomberg) -- Google said it will delay a plan to phase out third-party cookies on its Chrome browser until late 2024, a move that will upend how ads are targeted on websites.
The Alphabet Inc. unit has been working with publishers, marketers and regulators on its plan to replace cookies, the software marketers use to track people’s online activity and tailor ads accordingly, through an initiative known as the Privacy Sandbox. In a blog post on Wednesday, Google said it would postpone the shift to the new system to give marketers more time to test its tools.
“The most consistent feedback we’ve received is the need for more time to evaluate and test the new Privacy Sandbox technologies before deprecating third-party cookies in Chrome,” Anthony Chavez, a vice president at Google, wrote in the post. “We now intend to begin phasing out third-party cookies in Chrome in the second half of 2024.”
Trials of the new, privacy-sensitive advertising tools will expand to more users in early August, ramping up over the rest of this year and 2023. The news was first reported by Insider.
Google’s decision to phase out cookies echoes moves by Apple Inc., which shook up the digital ad market last year by restricting advertisers’ access to user data in its iOS operating system. But at a time when tech giants are facing mounting antitrust scrutiny, some experts are concerned Google’s move to do away with cookies could increase its power in the market for digital advertising, where it already plays a dominant role.
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