Google is aiming to kill third-party cookies by 2022 and implement Privacy Sandbox for better privacy.


The technological giant Google announced its plans to completely eliminate the use of third-party cookies in the popular Chrome browser. The goal is to improve the confidentiality of the information and the protection of personal data, something that we at VPS.BG have been actively advocating for years and we don’t use third-party cookies on our website. But are Google's stated goals used for good PR or there is a hidden plan for extra profit? What does it mean to phase out the use of third-party cookies in Chrome and how will this change the world of digital marketing?


People increasingly value their privacy.


It is well known that most of the web sites are setting third-party cookies in the browser and collecting and sharing information about the visits. Society discusses increasingly the fact that this practice is detrimental to all individuals' privacy and the security of personal data is being seriously lowered. The majority of Internet users are aware of this issue and apply settings in their browser that prohibit the use of cookies by third parties and block them. Some go even further and change their browser with another that is more privacy-oriented.


This is the reason why a number of technology companies and site developers have started looking for alternative ways to maintain the ability to analyze the behaviour of Internet users for marketing purposes so that they are still able to offer relevant ads even without cookies data.


Currently, some companies are already trying to collect information about their site visitors using methods other than third-party cookies. Others are integrating solutions that can help them store the important information and insights about visitors on their own servers, which is a private way to track visits so that information is not shared with third parties.


In our opinion Google realises that this trend can harm their business, so they are looking for an alternative to both provide more anonymity to users and keep their business with ads.


Google's solution for better privacy


We are not far from the changes which are meant to improve security and restrict the violation of privacy. The technology giant Google has announced that they will put an end to the use of third-party cookies and will develop a new technology called Google Privacy Sandbox.


At the moment there are various suggestions on how to make the project work successfully. All web developers, content creators, advertisers and marketing companies are invited to deliberate the possibilities and give their feedback and ideas on how to maintain users anonymity.


Google is convinced that Privacy Sandbox can provide anonymity and at the same time won’t deprive us of relevant ads to our interests. Many industry authorities doubt that this step is not only in the interest of consumers and the security of their data but also a step towards getting the company established even further in the advertising business.


Several suggestions for the Google Privacy Sandbox project.


Submitting information with an API


One of the most popular ideas for the project is to run it through an API. Advertisers will be able to use aggregated data to get an idea of how well their ads are performing.


Google Privacy Sandbox will rely on anonymous signals (instead of cookies) send from the users’ Chrome browser. The new technology offers an alternative to cookies for advertisers, which will allow them to see if the ad is displayed to users and how well it converts. Consumer habits will be analyzed and grouped by interests. One of the most interesting elements of this idea is that Google offers to move all information about the user activities to be stored within the browser locally, instead of storing it on Google’s servers. This means that the user data is safer as it remains on their devices and complies with all privacy regulations.


Collecting information through Fingerprinting.


Apart from the cookies, there are other alternative ways to collect information for users and create a profile for them such as the Fingerprinting technology, which is still used by some site owners.


Using Browser Fingerprinting, companies create unique profiles based on information about your activities without asking for consent, without the use of cookies. This happens when information about the browser you are using and its unique settings (including the IP address, cursor font, plug-ins that are installed) is taken and saved in the created profile, which is then used to create programmed ads which are targeted without the need of cookies. Of course, ads will not be as relevant to the searches as before, but advertisers will still be able to reach their target audience which has a real interest in the products or services they offer. Browsers such as Brave, which are more privacy-oriented, use various methods to change browsers data randomly which "confuses" the Fingerprinting algorithm. Using a VPN with a different IP address each time also helps reduce tracking.


In search of new alternatives


The changes which are constantly occurring will rearrange the whole digital world and in particular the digital marketing. The advertisement and the information which the websites can access will be completely different and probably more expensive. This is the reason many companies are looking for alternative platforms for analysis, so the information they keep for their visitors won’t be shared with third parties and they will be able to analyze their users' behaviours. 


One of the most popular alternative web analytics software is Matomo (formerly Piwik), which we use and recommend. It is used by millions of websites, there is also a WordPress plugin. What is important is that all visitors tracking information is hosted on your own server and is never shared with third parties. Other similar self-hosted software solutions that track the web visitors activities are Open Web Analytics and AWStats.


The advantage of this type of analysis tool is that you have complete control over the information because it is stored and processed on your own server and you do not need to rely on a third party to access the data. The anonymity of your site visitors is better, privacy security is increased drastically. This type of platforms are fully compliant with global consumer data collection regulations, such as the GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act.


Learn more about these solutions in our next article.


The Internet is a space that changes with each passing day. As in the beginning, there were serious doubts about how safe its use is, today we cannot imagine the world without it. The security and anonymity of all who use the web is has become a focus of large companies that gather a lot of data. What the future holds for marketers and how the information will be stored and used, remains to be seen.


Although Google is taking a step forward in protecting privacy, they will still have another way to obtain this information.

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