Google just disabled third-party cookies for one percent of Chrome users, several years after she first introduced her project Privacy Sandbox. The company announced late last year that it would begin banning cookies from a randomly selected one percent of Chrome users worldwide starting January 4th. Chrome has more than half of the global browser market, and according to Gizmodo, that means Google has done away with cookies for around 30 million users.
Users affected by the ban will see a notification when they launch their browser, informing them that they are among the first to encounter tracking protection. It also explains that Tracking Protection restricts websites that use third-party cookies to track your browsing. Since this ban very likely will disrupt the operation of some websiteswhich have not yet adapted to the change, Google will allow users temporarily re-enable third-party cookies. They can do so by clicking the eye icon located in the browser bar to turn off the new feature.
The Google Privacy Sandbox initiative, was designed as an alternative to cookieswhich will allow advertisers serve ads to users while protecting their privacy. It groups users according to interests based on their recent browsing activities, and advertisers can use this information to match them with relevant ads. The system is supposed to be less invasive than cookie files, as all data and their processing takes place directly in the device and Google states that it will preserve user interests for three weeks only.
Nevertheless, the project has attracted the attention of regulators due to concerns that it will make society even more powerful, than it is now. But unless banned by regulators, Google will continue rolling out tracking protection over the next few months until will not disable third-party cookies for all users by mid-2024 Chrome browser.