Google has initiated the process of disabling third-party cookies for Chrome users, impacting one percent of the global user base. This move is part of the Privacy Sandbox project introduced years ago. With Chrome commanding over half of the global browser market, approximately 30 million users are affected.
As of 4th January 2024, Chrome has started restricting third-party cookies by default for 1% of Chrome browsers. It may take several days to reach the full 1%.
The move aligns with growing regulatory scrutiny, including the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation and California’s regulations.
Users in this initial rollout will receive notifications explaining the new Tracking Protection feature, restricting sites from using third-party cookies to track their browsing activity. To accommodate potential disruptions to websites, Google allows users to temporarily re-enable third-party cookies through a browser bar icon.
The Privacy Sandbox initiative, positioned as a privacy-friendly alternative to cookies, categorizes users based on their interests, derived from recent browsing activities. Advertisers can then serve relevant ads while preserving user privacy, as all data processing occurs locally on the user’s device.
Despite concerns about Google’s increasing dominance, the company plans to extend Tracking Protection to all Chrome users by mid-2024.