Online advertising: The days of tracking cookies are numbered

The end of third-party cookies has been around for a while.

Online advertising: The days of tracking cookies are numbered

The end of third-party cookies has been around for a while. Mozilla started in 2019 and blocked third-party cookies in its Firefox browser. These are important for the advertising industry in order to be able to target individualized advertising to individual users. However, because this technology is susceptible to misuse and is problematic for data protection reasons, the industry giants of Internet browsers agreed some time ago to end advertising cookies. This is the state of affairs.

In January 2020, Google followed suit with its announcement that it was ending third-party cookies, causing a sensation. The deadline to end tracking technology by the end of 2022 sent the online advertising industry into turmoil. This was especially true when Apple followed suit a little later and blocked third-party cookies in its Safari browser. As of this year, it's even the default setting on new iOS devices to block third-party cookies.

Google is already making the technical replacement for the tracking cookies available to developers - or at least an in-house option. The so-called privacy sandbox is initially designed for your own Chrome browser, but Apple and Mozilla also want to make the idea palatable. The idea behind the privacy sandbox: Instead of having external service providers collect, store and process data, in future the targeting for personalized advertising should take place in the browser itself.

However, Google has since pushed back its deadline twice: in the summer of 2021, it planned to have the process completed in the second half of 2023, and this summer it extended it by another year to the end of 2024. "The most common feedback we've received is, that more time will be needed to evaluate and test the new privacy sandbox technology before replacing third-party cookies in Chrome," Google's Anthony Chavez justified the decision in a blog post.

Even if the third-party cookies have been given another year's reprieve, industry giant Google is certain that their end is sealed. Most recently, Google manager Matt Brittin said at the DMEXCO advertising fair in Cologne: "The transition to a world without third-party cookies means that we have to rethink the technology on which much of the online advertising system is based."

Of course, doing without personalized advertising entirely is not an option for the tech giants, because many of their offers are financed by advertising. Because advertising revenue is nevertheless declining, the corporations have to react. It recently became public that Meta is building a department to deal with the monetization of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram to compensate for the crumbling advertising business.

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