Google calls time on the 3rd party cookie

On 14 January 2020, Google signed the death warrant for 3rd party cookies on the Chrome browser inside the next 2 years. As Chrome is currently the browser of choice on 70% of desktops and 60% of mobiles, this will have a significant impact on the way the internet works.

While Google had previously hinted at this change, the announcement landed as a shock for many - with particular resonance in the digital advertising industry. Described as the ‘Achilles Heel’ of the programmatic advertising industry, killing 3rd party cookies (3PC) will disrupt the advertising supply chain - with agencies, data brokers, platforms, and publishers all impacted.

Why is Google doing this?

If you take Google at their word, this edict is part of a wider “initiative to develop a set of open standards to fundamentally enhance privacy on the web.” Housed within their ‘privacy sandbox’, plans and ideas are being formulated to reduce tracking of users online, such as limiting the browsers ability to fingerprint users. 3PC’s are the oldest and most pervasive means of tracking users online. So within the context of Google’s wider privacy strategy, it demonstrates they mean business.

Sceptics, however, might point out that Google’s vast array of interconnected products and services may provide a small advantage to Google’s advertising business in a post-cookie world. It might be worth speculating whether Google would have taken this altruistic action if they weren’t best placed to thrive in this environment, uniquely positioned as they are?

Indeed, looking into their sandbox, a number of new Google services are already being planned to find privacy compliant means of delivering ads. But, when was the last time a tech giant intentionally took an action that would meaningfully hurt their bottom line?

Outside of Google, the industry is searching for solutions. At Glimpse, we see the end of 3PC’s as going hand-in-glove with wider public concern and privacy legislation impacting digital ads. Our compliant and cookie-less platform is currently beta testing and will offer advertisers a future-proofed means of reaching their audience.

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