Google has announced plans to officially enable its buttons twice delayed Privacy Sandbox initiative as it slowly works to deprecate support for third-party cookies in the Chrome browser.
To that end, the search and advertising giant said it will remove third-party cookies for 1% of Chrome users globally by the first quarter of 2024.
“This will support developers in conducting real-world experiments assessing the readiness and effectiveness of their products without third-party cookies,” Anthony Chavez, vice president of Privacy Sandbox at Google, said.
Prior to launching this, Google said it would introduce the ability for third-party developers to simulate processes of a configurable subset of their users (up to 10%) in Q4 2023.
Google further emphasizes that the plan has been designed and developed with regulatory oversight and input from the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which is overseeing implementation to ensure that the proposal do not tilt the level playing field profitable company.
Privacy Sandbox is a two-pronged project for web and Android that aims to limit hidden tracking by eliminating the need for third-party cookies and cross-app identifiers and still serving relevant content and ads in a privacy-preserving manner.
Google, earlier this February, began testing Privacy Sandbox on Android in beta to eligible mobile devices running Android 13.
In short, the idea is to infer crude interest signals (called topics) on a device based on a user’s browsing activity over a one-week period (called an epoch) and share that information with ad technology vendors to serve targeted ads.
It also aims to give users control over their evolving interests, with the categories selected for each epoch being randomly selected from the most visited topics for that time period.
Google’s goal is to completely kill third-party cookies in Chrome by the second half of 2024, though the company notes that the timeline may change depending on stakeholder discussions, feedback, and testing.