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Google delays death of tracking cookies again, wants more time for “testing”

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Chrome’s browser competitors Safari and Firefox have both been blocking third-party tracking cookies used by advertisers, by default, for over two years now. Google, the world’s largest advertising company, totally wants to match its competition and reduce user tracking; it will just take a little longer to do it. Google’s latest blog post details the second delay to the shutdown of third-party tracking cookies. Google says it will now support the tracking method until “the second half of 2024.”

Google does around $200 billion per year in advertising revenue, so the company stands to lose a lot if it suddenly hobbles web tracking. Google’s stated position is that it refuses to match the competition until it builds an alternative behavior-tracking system directly into Chrome; the company calls this system the “Privacy Sandbox.”

Google has floated a few different tracking methods so far. First there was FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts), which saw widespread opposition from the Electronic Frontier Foundation and other privacy advocates. Then Google moved on to the “Topics” API, which is currently in testing.

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