Google announced Thursday that it will begin testing a new feature called “Tracking Protection” starting January 4, 2024, for up to 1% of Chrome users as part of its efforts to remove third-party cookies in the web browser.
The setting is designed to limit “cross-site tracking by preventing website access to third-party cookies by default,” Anthony Chavez, vice president of Google’s Privacy Sandbox, said. SAYS.
The tech giant noted that participants for Tracking Protection will be chosen randomly and that selected users will be notified when they open Chrome on a desktop or Android device.
The goal is to block third-party cookies (also called “non-essential cookies”) by default, preventing them from being used to track users as they move from one website to another for – serve personalized ads.
While many major browsers such as Apple Safari and Mozilla Firefox are already installed restrictions of third-party cookies through features such as Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) and Enhanced Tracking Protection in Firefox, Google uses a more middle-of-the-road approach that includes creating alternatives where users can -access to free online content and services without compromising their privacy.
In mid-October 2023, Google confirmed it plans to “disable third-party cookies for 1% of users from Q1 2024 to facilitate testing, and then ramp up to 100% of users from Q3 2024.”
Privacy Sandbox, instead of providing a cross-site or cross-app user identifier, “aggregates, thresholds, or noise data” through APIs like Protected Audience (formerly FLEDGE), Topics, and Attribution Reporting to help prevent user re-identification.
In doing so, the goal is to block third-parties from tracking user browsing behavior across sites, while still allowing sites and apps to serve relevant ads and enables advertisers to measure the performance of their online ads without the use of individual identifiers.
“With Tracking Protection, Privacy Sandbox and all the other features we’re rolling out in Chrome, we’ll keep working to make the web more private than ever, and accessible to everyone,” he said. Chavez.