You may have heard Google is planning to stop allowing cookies on the Chrome browser in the near future. Well, that’s not the full picture. What’s actually happening is that third-party cookies won’t be allowed anymore. It also seems the date keeps shifting. At time of writing this post, the date is by the end of 2023.
And guess what: this isn’t something new. That’s right! Google’s been working on joining the party for a while now. Firefox started blocking third-party cookies by default in 2019, and Safari did so in 2020. And privacy-oriented browsers such as Tor Browser and Brave had it before that. Microsoft Edge uses the Chromium engine (the same as Chrome), so there’s a chance they’ll follow Google’s example by the end of 2023.
Believe it or not, blocking third-party cookies actually goes beyond privacy. A lot of us don’t actually want to have all of our behavior tracked across the web without actually opting in. As important as that is, there are security benefits too, such as thwarting login fingerprinting. If you’re into some of the details, there’s a really great post detailing the reasoning for blocking these cookies here on the Webkit.org site.
Well, first-party cookies are are still going to work. This means the tracking scripts you put on your site to see what users are doing are still going to work. Google Analytics is still going to work, as well as other tools that do similar things. But there will be differences to the data and user experience, such as a less personalized ad experience. We’ll have a future blog post that goes into more detail on what changes and impacts a given site might see. But, while Chrome has the majority of the market share, there are a large percentage of visitors to your site that are already blocking third-party cookies. Everything still works!
This is all part of a move to give people the privacy they should have had in the first place. It’s a good thing. And as we always do in life, we find ways to adapt and carry on. We’ll provide a better user experience and we’ll still get the data we need.