By Nathalie Voit

Google Chrome browser users can expect third-party cookies to stick around until at least the latter half of 2024, the tech giant announced on July 27.

“The most consistent feedback we’ve received is the need for more time to evaluate and test the new Privacy Sandbox technologies before deprecating third-party cookies in Chrome,” Vice President of Privacy Sandbox Anthony Chavez said in a blog post. “This feedback aligns with our commitment to the CMA to ensure that the Privacy Sandbox provides effective, privacy-preserving technologies and the industry has sufficient time to adopt these new solutions.”

“For these reasons, we are expanding the testing windows for the Privacy Sandbox APIs before we disable third-party cookies in Chrome,” Chavez said. 

A cookie is a small file with personalized information that web servers send to browsers. They help websites “remember” you and your preferences after you visit them.

This is the second time Google has delayed its plans to replace third-party cookies for advertising in Chrome.

Google said last spring it will replace the use of the cookie and other alternative user-level identifiers with privacy-preserving APIs by early 2022. However, in a blog post published in June, Google provided an updated timeline for Chrome’s plan to weed off support for third-party cookies. The new timeline showed Google transitioning from third-party cookies to an approved advertising industry-friendly alternative starting mid-2023. The changes are scheduled to take place in the second half of 2024.

In the meantime, Google said developers can already try the APIs today. However, beginning in early August, the trials will expand to millions of users worldwide.

Google said that the Privacy Sandbox APIs will generally become available in Chrome by Q3 2023.

The decision to kill the infamous computer cookie is part of the company’s broader Privacy Sandbox initiative.

The so-called “Sandbox” initiative, launched in 2019, is a cross-collaborative effort to develop better privacy standards for the Web and Android. The Sandbox relies on the input of key players within the digital advertising market–among them publishers, developers, and advertisers–to find privacy-preserving solutions to the cookie while keeping the Web open and free. Specifically, the Sandbox wants to rule out third-party cookies and other forms of cross-site and cross-app tracking while keeping the needs of ad and e-commerce companies in mind.

Google said the timeline to phase out third-party cookies support in Chrome will be updated monthly.