For the second time, Google has announced that it is further delaying its plan to kill off third-party cookies in Chrome until at least 2024.

This is with the intention that, by the time the end of cookies finally rolls around, the industry will have had more time to develop and test cookieless alternatives.

The statement reads: “The most consistent feedback we’ve received is the need for more time to evaluate and test the new Privacy Sandbox technologies before deprecating third-party cookies in Chrome. This feedback aligns with our commitment to the CMA to ensure that the Privacy Sandbox provides effective, privacy-preserving technologies and the industry has sufficient time to adopt these new solutions.

“This deliberate approach to transitioning from third-party cookies ensures that the web can continue to thrive, without relying on cross-site tracking identifiers or covert techniques like fingerprinting.”

Kate Jervis, Growth Director, Incubeta commented: “While Google’s decision to delay the deprecation of third-party cookies undoubtedly gives the industry more time to prepare, the end of these identifiers is still very much on the horizon and it’s more important now than ever before to prepare your infrastructure for a privacy-first world. In a similar vein, marketers should look to prioritise moving to GA4 in order to protect their future data assets.

“Activations such as complete campaign audits and privacy health-checks, building websites to be capable of tracking a similar level of data to what is gained from third-party identifiers, and focusing on contextual data over demographic data will put businesses in good stead ahead of 2024. Taking responsibility for users’ data and creating a strong data-driven strategy that can handle the change when third-party cookies and Google Analytics are gone should be prioritised now.”

We released very similar news in June 2021, when it was announced that cookies wouldn’t be phased out until late 2023. Again, this time, the announcement is both positive and negative. On one hand, it enables further creation and development of more advanced alternatives, rather than marketers having to take a rushed approach.

However, on the other hand, it once again delays meaningful redesigning of the open web to a more privacy-centred model. What do you think? Is this delay welcome, or is this going on too long?

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