Google has spoken that it will disable third-party tracking cookies for some Chrome users, whence in 2024. This is not the first time we are hearing well-nigh it, Google had published a similar update in March 2023 as part of The Privacy Sandbox initiative, to outline its plans for the feature.

What are third-party tracking cookies?

When you scan the internet, you may squint up information well-nigh products, services, sports, entertainment, food, medicines, that you may be interested in. e.g. a watch, shoes, a specific visitor or brand. You may come wideness advertisements well-nigh the products that you had searched for on other websites.

How does that website know what you like? Well, the website is using tracking cookies, which gather data well-nigh what you do on search engines and other websites. This sort of tracking is possible wideness variegated websites, and it's a serious privacy risk, because, in theory, a website can create a profile well-nigh your browsing habits. This is exactly what Google wants to stop, it aims to prevent websites from targeting users.

Google Chrome will woodcut third-party tracking cookies from January 2024, but only for some users

The tech giant plans to protect the privacy of users, by anonymizing their data and provide those to advertisers, as opposed to targeted advertising. It won't magically prevent cross-site tracking completely, the idea is to minimize the value of tracking. That's a little odd coming from Google, expressly considering the whole Manifest V3 Saga, and of course, the recent YouTube anti-ad blocker stance. But any effort to protect the privacy of users is worth applauding, though I think we ought to wait for a hands-on wits to see if it is unquestionably useful. Even the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is not convinced by Google's idea, and is keeping a tropical eye on it to ensure that it does not favor the company's own interests.

Anthony Chavez, the VP of Privacy Sandbox has published an vendible at the Google Keyword blog (in German), to highlight the progress of the feature, and it appears that the Mountain View visitor is well-nigh to start phase one to test it. Don't get too excited well-nigh it, considering chances are you may not get to test it just yet.

The vendible says that Chrome will start blocking third-party tracking cookies for 1% of users from next month, January 4th to be precise. The reservation here is that the testers will be chosen randomly. If you have been selected to test the feature, you will see a notification on Chrome for desktop, or Chrome for Android, like the one seen in the screenshot below.

Google Chrome woodcut third-party tracking cookies

The Tracking Protection full-length will be enabled by default for the selected users, and it will automatically woodcut all tracking requests from third-parties that may try to wangle the data. Users will be worldly-wise to toggle the full-length off, i.e. enable tracking cookies on, at any time, by clicking on the eye icon in the write bar. While that may not sound like a good idea, Google mentions that blocking third-party cookies could unravel some websites. Now, not all third-party tracking cookies are bad per se. Some are used to sign in to other websites, for example, many sites support sign in with Google, Microsoft, Steam account, etc. These may be useful as they provide easier ways to log in to the services.

1% of the user wiring is not a lot of people, but it makes sense that Google wants to trial the full-length among a small group of users, given that this is just part of the test phase. The search giant wants to gather feedback from its testers, surpassing rolling out the transpiration widely, which could happen in the 2nd half of 2024.

If you can't wait for that, just install a good ad blocker like uBlock Origin or AdGuard, to prevent trackers and ads wideness websites. Other browsers once have the full-length baked in, take a squint at Firefox's Enhanced Protection, or Brave Browser's setting to disable cross-site tracking.

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