Google plans to scrap third-party cookies by 2022 — here’s why it’s problematic

Home Technology Google plans to scrap third-party cookies by 2022 — here’s why it’s problematic

Google has announced plans to stop using tracking cookies on its Chrome browser by 2022, replacing them with a group profiling system in a move the company says will plot “a course towards a more privacy-friendly web.”

The change is significant. Chrome commands some two-thirds of the web browser market. Third-party tracking cookies, meanwhile, underpin much of the targeted advertising industry. And, while Mozilla’s Firefox and Apple’s Safari have already stopped supporting third-party cookies, Google is the first firm to produce replacement advertising support.

Rather than tracking and targeting you on an individual basis, Google’s alternative groups you instead into a crowd of people with similar generalized interests. Google argues this grants users more privacy. This sits oddly with the reassurance to advertisers that the new technique is at least 95% as effective as individual targeting.

But beneath the gloss of Google’s press releases, the shift from tracking to profiling raises a number of new privacy and discrimination concerns. Ostensibly a move to boost individual privacy, Chrome’s new system ultimately looks set to benefit Google, handing the company yet another advantage over its beleaguered AdTech competitors.

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