Matthew Nourse

Google to remove third-party cookies

In a blog post a few of weeks ago, Google revealed their plan to stop – not just block, but altogether remove – third-party cookies in its Chrome browser within the next two years as part of its user privacy initiative: Privacy Sandbox.

I chatted with Matt from ABC Riverland last week to talk about this topic… but let’s take it back a step and take a look at what third-party cookies is.

What is a third-party cookie?

There are a few types of cookies, the core ones being:

  1. First-party cookie which originates from the website you are browsing  
  2. Third-party cookies do not originate from the website operator you are viewing, but from a third party – such as an advertiser
Ad pop ups from third-party-cookies

Primarily the third-party cookie is there to record your user behaviour and path on the internet to subsequently create a user profile. Based on this user profile, it is then possible for the advertiser to display personal adverts to the user. Third-party cookies are powerful online marketing tools and are frequently referred to as “tracking cookies” and “targeting cookies”.

“So that weird moment you start talking about something, and it pops up on your screen?”

No, there is no one listening; it is most likely you have been tracked by a third-party cookie because of something you have looked at or searched on the internet. 

Google in recent weeks has also announced that in 2018 their revenue was $116 billion (that’s US dollars). Now a lot of that is from advertisers which a significant portion can be attributed to third-party cookies. So if Google removes a money-spinning function from their business, how do they make up the shortfall. I don’t think you need to be a genius to guess they have something else up their sleeve but at this point who knows.

Take a listen to the complete interview with Matt ABC Radio Riverland.

PTS Monthly Blog March 2021

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