Google delays blocking of third-party cookies on Chrome until late 2023

Google has delayed the plans to scrap a popular technology that was used for tracking web-browsing habits due to regulatory scrutiny and concerns raised by privacy advocates as well as the advertising industry over the search giant’s approach to replacing the tool.

The Alphabet Inc. unit stated that the Chrome internet browser will no longer support a user-tracking technology called third-party cookies by 2023, which is two years later than the anticipated time frame of 2022. Google had earlier announced the removal of cookies, which advertising organisations use to track individuals’ and target ads, after rising pressure from privacy regulators.

Google has stated that the delay will offer it more time to get publishers, regulators who are comfortable with the new technologies the company is creating and testing to facilitate targeted ads in cookies’ wake.

“While there’s considerable progress with this initiative, it’s become clear that more time is needed across the ecosystem to get this right,” Google stated.

The company’s plan for removal of cookies is facing a range of regulatory scrutiny as well as complaints from privacy advocates who stated that the company hasn’t taken adequate measures to protect users’ data. Competitors said that Google was leveraging privacy concerns in order to keep them out of online advertising.

Recently the European Union said it is scrutinising Google’s plan to remove cookies under a wide-ranging inquiry after allegations that Google has abused its role in advertising technology.

The delay offers a reprieve for ad agencies. The search giant plays an integral role in the online advertising ecosystem. The company owns some of the most popular tools to broker the sale of ads on the web, and majority of these ads are visible via Chrome, which is the most widely used web browser, with over 65% of the market worldwide.

Google’s announcement comes soon after its competitor Apple Inc. revealed that it will be blocking the users’ IP addresses in its Safari browser for the same reason.