Google has moved back its timeline to block third-party cookies in Chrome, according to an announcement this morning. “While there’s considerable progress with this initiative, it’s become clear that more time is needed across the ecosystem to get this right,” said Vinay Goel, Privacy Engineering Director with Chrome.
The delay will allow the web community to convene and further discussions on the topic, allow regulators to understand and provide input, and for advertisers to adjust their services, said the blog.
New timeline. The changed timeline will allow for technology to deploy by late 2022 for developers to begin adoption. “Subject to our engagement with the United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and in line with the commitments we have offered, Chrome could then phase out third-party cookies over a three-month period, starting in mid-2023 and ending in late 2023,” added Goel.
Public development process. Google’s public development process before launch allows the public and regulators to have a say in the third-party cookie deprecation process:
- Discussion: The technologies and their prototypes are discussed in forums like GitHub or W3C groups.
- Testing: The technologies are rigorously tested in Chrome through potentially numerous origin trials, allowing for transparency and feedback throughout.
- Ready for adoption: Once the development process is complete, the successful technologies are ready to be used at scale. They will be launched in Chrome and ready for scaled use across the web.
From there, if the solutions pass the commitments Google has made to the CMS, the rollout will begin:
- Stage 1 (Starting late-2022): Once testing is complete and APIs are launched in Chrome, we will announce the start of stage 1. During stage 1, publishers and the advertising industry will have time to migrate their services. We expect this stage to last for nine months, and we will monitor adoption and feedback carefully before moving to stage 2.
- Stage 2 (Starting mid-2023): Chrome will phase out support for third-party cookies over a three month period finishing in late 2023.
More details. Google plans to release a more detailed schedule on privacysandbox.com.
Why we care. Many advertisers have rightfully been worried about what the rollout of Google’s privacy initiatives and the blocking of third-party cookies means for their metrics and their clients. This delay means that there is an opportunity for search marketers’ concerns to be heard by the tech giant and that there is more time to prepare for the major changes — including finding technology solutions that adjust when cookies are deprecated, figuring out a first-party data strategy, and pulling data from other sources.
More on FLoC and Google’s privacy initiatives:
- FLoC is coming — Here’s what we know so far
- Ask the expert – Your top FLoC questions answered
- WordPress proposes blocking FLoC by default
- Google’s current FLoC tests aren’t GDPR compliant
- Google agrees to not favor its own products or access user personal data in commitments with UK regulator on FLoC