In a new blog post, Google explains it's moving towards a privacy-first web. It's an industry-wide initiative, really. Mozilla has been working on phasing out support for third-party tracking cookies, Apple's Safari has similar features, and Chrome will stop support for these cookies in 2022.
Google has now clarified that when Chrome stops support for tracking cookies, it will not employ alternative user-level identifiers to track users as they navigate across the web.
People shouldn’t have to accept being tracked across the web in order to get the benefits of relevant advertising. And advertisers don't need to track individual consumers across the web to get the performance benefits of digital advertising.Overall, it seems like a good thing for consumers as privacy on the web will increase. Google is confident technology has evolved so much that it no longer needs to track users individually to provide good results to advertisers. Basically, Google is already so big and dominant that it can rely on other methods to identify your interests and needs. This will likely come at the detriment of smaller competitors -- which will struggle to adapt their business models.
Advances in aggregation, anonymization, on-device processing and other privacy-preserving technologies offer a clear path to replacing individual identifiers. In fact, our latest tests of FLoC show one way to effectively take third-party cookies out of the advertising equation and instead hide individuals within large crowds of people with common interests. Chrome intends to make FLoC-based cohorts available for public testing through origin trials with its next release this month, and we expect to begin testing FLoC-based cohorts with advertisers in Google Ads in Q2. Chrome also will offer the first iteration of new user controls in April and will expand on these controls in future releases, as more proposals reach the origin trial stage, and they receive more feedback from end users and the industry.
This points to a future where there is no need to sacrifice relevant advertising and monetization in order to deliver a private and secure experience.