Google is the latest tech company to introduce new tracking measures for its website browser, announcing this week the specific changes to how cookies are handled by Chrome.

Talking at Google I/O, the new privacy settings being rolled out aim to give consumers more control over how their online browsing on Chrome is being tracked and shared with third-parties, while also maintaining first-party data.

Under the settings, developers are required to specify which cookies work across sites and ones that can be used for tracking, helping users save their logins and settings. This feature will essentially allow users to delete third-party data cookies while also retaining personal preferences on a website.

In addition, Google has confirmed a new feature on the Chrome browser which adds restrictions to fingerprinting. As part of the changes, if a consumer has opted out of third-party tracking, advertisers will no longer be able to use fingerprinting to personalise ads. Google has also blocked advertisers for bringing fingerprinting data into its advertising products.

Big blow for advertisers

Google’s SVP, Google Ads and commerce Prabhakar Raghavan said in a blog post that the changes will bring more transparency to the ads on offer to consumers based on experience that users prefer personalised ads specific to their needs and interests. 

There’s certainly a trend from all these anti-tracking updates to provide a more user-friendly experience when browsing online. However, with Chrome accounting for 65% share of desktop browsing, there’s likely to be some challenges ahead for advertisers and publishers.

From an advertiser perspective, the privacy setting will no doubt cut them from targeting ads to consumers that opt to turn off tracking, ultimately reducing revenue. For publishers, as outlined in an article from PerformanceIN this week, if third-party and first-party data cookies are being reduced, but even more so the compliance nature of tracking or wider effects (e.g. traffic sources), revenue streams may also feel the effects at a time where transparent data is on everyone’s agenda.

Whichever way you look at it, there’s a feeling in the air from the likes of Google and Apple that they want to strengthen their dominance in the digital advertising space while still having access to consumer behaviour and interest. For now, it’s not good news for advertisers as these companies give users more control while reducing advertiser access, all in a bid to maintain their own position when it comes to handling data