Google’s Privacy Sandbox initiative began with the intent to create technology to protect people’s privacy. Part of that initiative was to reduce cross-site and cross-app tracking by eliminating third-party cookies. Today it was announced that the initiative has been delayed and developers are aiming for a Q3 2023 launch. Google developers also predict that it will start phasing out third-party cookies in the second half of 2024.
Why the delay. Google says that “consistent feedback” from developers, marketers, and publishers, and more testing are the reasons for the delays.
The most consistent feedback we’ve received is the need for more time to evaluate and test the new Privacy Sandbox technologies before deprecating third-party cookies in Chrome. This feedback aligns with our commitment to the CMA to ensure that the Privacy Sandbox provides effective, privacy-preserving technologies and the industry has sufficient time to adopt these new solutions. This deliberate approach to transitioning from third-party cookies ensures that the web can continue to thrive, without relying on cross-site tracking identifiers or covert techniques like fingerprinting.
Anthony Chavez VP, Privacy Sandbox
Early testing for developers. Developers can test the Privacy Sandbox API now, and trials will be released in early August as they’re released to “millions of users globally, and we’ll gradually increase the trial population throughout the rest of the year and into 2023.”
Read the announcement. You can read the blog post announcement on Googe here, and also visit the Privacy Sandbox website.
Why we care. A bad thing for privacy-conscious consumers. A good thing for advertisers? A lot of advertisers and platforms may have been scrambling to find out of the (sand) box solutions to tracking data since it was expected that cookies would no longer be an option. It looks like we’ll have at least another year to prepare.