Internet users are often confronted with the request to allow cookies. These are small data sets stored on your computer or smartphone that help deliver personalized online advertisements. However, due to government regulations and growing consumer awareness about data security, many believe a “coke-free future” is on the horizon.

Apple and Mozilla have already taken steps to restrict third-party cookies, and now Google plans to do the same in its Chrome browser this year.

Google has taken the first step by limiting access to third-party cookies to about 1% of Chrome users starting January 4. The participants in this test were selected at random. In the second half of the year, Google plans to phase out these cookies, pending any remaining issues to be resolved by the UK Competition Authority. For now, cookie banners will continue to appear when users open a page.

Changes at Google

Cookies are small files that are stored in your device’s browser when you visit a website. These files often contain unique identification information that allows websites to recognize their visitors. For example, a browser can remember a user’s login details or the items they added to their shopping cart. Cookies also enable personalized advertising. However, third-party cookies are controversial because they place embedded content from other websites instead of the user’s website. These cookies allow advertising service providers to track users across multiple pages and create profiles for advertising purposes.

According to Google experts, third-party cookies can accurately track users across multiple websites. However, the company plans to limit this process by introducing a privacy sandbox in the future. This will ensure that advertising providers receive only limited information about users’ interests, preventing their identification or identification. Various applications have been developed for this in collaboration with industry. Starting later this year, third-party vendors will no longer be able to track users’ browsing behavior across sites.

Instead, websites you visit are tagged with high-level ad titles such as “sports,” “travel,” or “pets.” The browser records the user’s most viewed topics, stores them locally on the device, and if necessary, shares up to three ad topics from the past three weeks with ad providers. The aim is to show relevant advertisements to the user without revealing which specific websites he has visited. Users can view their assigned ad themes in Chrome settings and make changes as necessary.


Strong criticism from the advertising sector

Advertising industry experts criticize the planned elimination of third-party cookies. According to him, this move will not increase data protection, but only strengthen Google’s dominant position in the advertising media market. It is claimed that this could harm consumers in the long run. He also noted that the plan does not mean Google will track or collect less data. That’s because Google’s wealth of data comes largely from first-party data, which the company collects through user logins, browser cookies, or search queries.

If cookies were disabled, users would have minimal access to interest-based advertising outside of Google services and some other major platforms. Going back to spam, pop-ups and banner ads that are not interesting to consumers will not be a solution.

Market-dominant platforms should not limit the reach of the advertising industry, experts suggest. The legislature, which has already passed laws to prevent platforms from issuing rules that harm competition, should make decisions on this matter. That is why competition authorities are more important than ever.

Consumer advocates are skeptical.

Consumer groups have raised concerns about the tracking and profiling practices used for advertising purposes. This problem is not limited to a single technology, such as third-party cookies. Advertisements are sometimes designed to exploit consumers’ vulnerabilities, threatening the protection and privacy of personal data and leading to manipulative practices and discrimination.

Additionally, consumers need help understanding the scope and ramifications of their consent. The online advertising market and its underlying technologies, including the Google Privacy Sandbox, are complex, opaque, and difficult to monitor.

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