Google is one of the largest sellers of advertising in the world. Plus, it also owns the most popular web browser, Chrome. Both of these characteristics add up to provide personalized ad tracking to users. However, the company will soon be following the footsteps of other browsers like Firefox and Safari to eliminate third-party tracking cookies.
“People shouldn’t have to accept being tracked across the web in order to get the benefits of relevant advertising. And advertisers don’t need to track individual consumers across the web to get the performance benefits of digital advertising,” wrote Google in a blog post.
Website Cookies store small amounts of information about the users. For instance, if you are adding something in your cart, the website will be able to remember your activity. However, a third-party tracking cookie allows the website to follow the user from one site to another. Therefore, advertising the item you searched for on a shopping website. This is the form that Google aims to drop.
That said, some marketers oppose this idea saying that Google will anyway be able to gain an advantage by eliminating such cookies as it has other ways of obtaining personal information from users.
To counter the argument, Google promises that once third-party cookies are phased out, it will not build alternative identifiers to track individuals as they browse across the web, nor will they use them in their products.
“We don’t believe these solutions will meet rising consumer expectations for privacy, nor will they stand up to rapidly evolving regulatory restrictions, and therefore aren’t a sustainable long-term investment,” Google said.
If you are thinking that shift away from cookies will prevent personalized ad tracking, you are not entirely correct. As BBC points out, the industry has come up with new ways to generate personalized data.
The advertisers could use “fingerprints” to target personalized ads. This technique uses a range of information about your device including the type of phone or computer, browser version, language, IP address and more to identify the machine. Hence, allowing the advertiser to follow you even if it doesn’t know your name.
Google Chrome will offer the first iteration of new user controls in April. It aims to expand on these controls in future releases.