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Google promises it won’t just keep tracking you after replacing cookies

Google is slowly phasing out third-party tracking cookies, and at this time, it’s making it clear that it won’t just exchange them with one thing equally invasive regardless of the impression the change may have on Google’s profitable promoting enterprise. In a weblog put up, Google explicitly states that it “won’t construct alternate identifiers to trace people as they browse throughout the net” after the third-party cookies are gone.

“As a substitute, our net merchandise will likely be powered by privacy-preserving APIs which stop particular person tracking whereas nonetheless delivering outcomes for advertisers and publishers,” writes Google. “Advances in aggregation, anonymization, on-device processing and different privacy-preserving applied sciences supply a transparent path to replacing particular person identifiers.”

Third-party cookies have been blocked for some time in Safari and Firefox (although the browsers differed in how far they go), and Google plans on doing the identical in Chrome. The cookies enable advertisers to trace you as you transfer between totally different web sites, which supplies advertisers a greater concept of what your pursuits are. These hyper-targeted advertisements are very worthwhile, ensuing within the creation of an advert trade whereby particular person consumer information is proliferated throughout “hundreds of corporations,” in response to Google.

Google says this observe has led to customers not trusting the web

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Google says this observe has led to customers not trusting the web or advertisers, which places the way forward for the net in danger. For all the privateness considerations, promoting continues to be the first approach many corporations on the web make their cash (The Verge and Google included). That’s why Google says it desires to maneuver away from third-party cookies and towards “a extra privacy-first net.”

For all of the speak of privateness, Google makes it clear it’s not attempting to eliminate focused promoting basically; it just desires to interchange the extra invasive strategies of previous with a brand new considered one of its personal design, which it calls Privacy Sandbox. A part of Privateness Sandbox’s job is to cover the person inside a big crowd of “cohorts” with related pursuits it will then goal advertisements towards.

A teardown of the Chrome 89 beta APK by Android Police provides us a primary take a look at Privateness Sandbox controls and the usage of “Net Crowd” cohorts for extra related promoting:

Chrome 89 beta Privateness Sandbox controls.Picture: Android Police

Google’s embrace of a privacy-first net comes amid rising regulatory strain from throughout the globe. The corporate acknowledges that, whereas noting a few of its rivals will nonetheless pursue options constructed round particular person identities.

“We notice this implies different suppliers could supply a degree of consumer id for advert tracking throughout the net that we’ll not — like PII graphs based mostly on individuals’s electronic mail addresses,” writes Google. “We don’t imagine these options will meet rising client expectations for privateness, nor will they stand as much as quickly evolving regulatory restrictions, and due to this fact aren’t a sustainable long run funding.”

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