Google Says It Will Phase Out Cookies Used to Track User Data

Google said that once third-party cookies are phased out, they will not build “alternative identifiers” to track user data.

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Google says that it is working on ways to better protect the privacy of its customers and has pledged to phase out the use of browser cookies, which track user data, in its Chrome web browser.

Last year, Google announced its intention to remove support for third-party cookies by 2022. In a blog post on Wednesday, David Temkin, the Director of Product Management, Ads Privacy and Trust, wrote that the company was doubling down and pledged to only use “privacy-preserving technologies” as an alternative to tracking people’s web activities.

Temkin said the use of cookies by third-parties to deliver targeted ads has led to an “erosion of trust” among internet users. He cited data from the Pew Research Center indicating that “72 percent of people feel that almost all of what they do online is being tracked by advertisers, technology firms or other companies, and 81 percent say that the potential risks they face because of data collection outweigh the benefits.”

Google has also pledged that once third-party cookies are phased out, they will not build “alternative identifiers” to track individual data, nor will they use these tools in their products.

“People shouldn’t have to accept being tracked across the web in order to get the benefits of relevant advertising,” Temkin said. “And advertisers don’t need to track individual consumers across the web to get the performance benefits of digital advertising.”

Large tech companies have faced increased scrutiny in the U.S. over how they collect, track and store user data. In December, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission ordered probes into nine different social media networks relating to their use of personal data.

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