Even though cookies are exceeding their shelf life, this change will further shake up marketers efforts at remarketing, analytics and attribution.
As expected, Google announced upcoming changes to how its Chrome browser handles cookies and fingerprint addresses at its annual I/O developer conference. New tools in Chrome will allow users to more easily block or delete third-party cookies, Google said. The company also announced a browser extension that will show more information about the parties involved in advertising transactions and tracking. New cookie handling in Chrome. Google said the “dumb approaches” to blocking cookies were not effective for users because they handle all cookies in the same way — from third-party cookies used to log users into sites to third-party cookies used for tracking-so it changes the way cookies work in Chrome. In terms of security, Google said the change would also help protect cookies from cross-site injections and default disclosure attacks. Eventually, Google said, Chrome will limit cross-site cookies to HTTPS connections.
Developers can start testing their sites to see how changes to cookie processing will affect their sites in the latest version of Chrome for developers. We deal with fingerprints. The company also said it was taking additional measures to limit browser fingerprinting techniques, which are used as workarounds for in-place tracking when users opt out of third-party cookies. Google said Chrome plans to “aggressively restrict” browser fingerprinting and reduce the ways browsers passively fingerprinted. “Because fingerprints are not transparent and are not under the user’s control, this leads to tracking that does not respect the user’s choice,” Google said. The company added that it does not use fingerprints to personalize ads or allow fingerprint data to be imported into its advertising products.
Why should we care. The end of the digital advertising ecosystem’s reliance on tracking and attribution cookies is long overdue. Cookies are not supported in mobile applications, and mobile websites and applications now account for the majority of advertising costs. Google and Facebook have moved from cookies to using deterministic identifiers of registered users. Chrome is also not a trailblazer in this area. It follows in the footsteps of Apple Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP). The latest version, ITP 2.2, will limit cross-site cookies to track users on Safari for one day. Earlier this week, Microsoft announced that its chromium-based Edge browser will also have new tracking controls for third-party cookies.
For marketers, the full impact of these changes and how users respond to the tools probably won’t be seen for months, but will have a significant impact on remarketing, Analytics, and attribution. It’s also unclear whether (or how much) the new Chrome requirements will benefit Google with its relationship with billions of users compared to other advertising technology firms, as the Wall Street Journal predicted.