First-party cookies are small text files created by a web server and stored on your computer when you visit a website. They generally contain data about you and your visit, as well as a unique identifier. Third-party cookies are the same except they are stored on your computer by a third-party (rather than the website owner) when your browser connects to the web server.
Cookies are used to put the right message in front of the right person in the right place at the right time. They are also used to place highly annoying (but highly effective) retargeted advertisements, like when you visit a website looking for a pair of designer shoes and you see ads from that website (usually for shoes you’ve already purchased) on every other website you visit for the next two weeks.
First-party cookies are important. They help web publishers customize your experience. Third-party cookies are important for advertisers – and Google wants them gone.
Why? Actually, Google is playing catch-up. While Chrome has 63 percent of the browser market, it is the only major browser that does not have technology in place to limit third-party cookies, so the plan was for Chrome to kill third-party cookies by 2022.
In a blog post, Anthony Chavez, Google’s Vice President of Privacy Sandbox, said, “As developers adopt these APIs, we now intend to begin phasing out third-party cookies in Chrome in the second half of 2024.” Why? Because no one has figured out an agreed-upon workable alternative.
What does this mean? For advertisers, you have another two years to figure out which alternative tech you will use to get around the problem. For Chrome users, nothing will change. For data brokers and data aggregators, you get a two year reprieve. As for those annoying, astoundingly dumb, highly effective, cookie-based, retargeted ads – it’s business as usual.
Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.