On Thursday, Google declared its plans to initiate testing of a new feature named “Tracking Protection” from January 4, 2024. This testing phase will involve 1% of Chrome users and is part of Google’s broader initiative to phase out third-party cookies in the web browser.
Google has officially scheduled the commencement of testing to block third-party cookies in Chrome for January 2024. The company has outlined its plan to completely phase out third-party cookie tracking for all Chrome users by the second half of 2024.
After a delay of almost a year and a half, Google has announced the rollout of the Tracking Protection feature in Chrome, scheduled for January 4, 2024. This implementation will be initially limited to a specific user group.
Anthony Chavez, the Vice President of Privacy Sandbox at Google, explained that the setting is crafted to curb “cross-site tracking by default, restricting website access to third-party cookies.”
The technology company specified that participants for Tracking Protection will be randomly selected, and the chosen users will receive notifications upon opening Chrome on either a desktop or an Android device.
Google’s initiative to eliminate cross-site tracking and user surveillance by phasing out third-party cookies is part of the Privacy Sandbox initiative, introduced in 2019. The goal is to enhance user privacy while mitigating the impact on advertisers.
The Privacy Sandbox initiative includes the Topics API, which offers high-level interest signals for delivering relevant content and ads. It also features the Protected Audience API (formerly FLEDGE API) for custom audience targeting and remarketing, along with the Attribution Reporting API for measuring the performance of online advertisements.
In case users encounter challenges with the new Tracking Protection feature, such as difficulties loading websites, they will have the option to temporarily re-enable third-party cookies.
“If a site encounters issues without third-party cookies, and Chrome detects your struggle—such as multiple page refreshes—we will present you with the choice to temporarily re-enable third-party cookies for that specific website. You can access this option from the eye icon located on the right side of your address bar,” highlighted Google.