Google launches webinars to prepare publishers for the crumbling of third-party cookies

As Google moves ahead with plans to turn off third-party cookies for all Chrome users by the second part of 2024, the tech giant has announced it will hold free webinars to help publishers prepare for the phase out.

The workshops on 5 March and 7 March will cover recommended actions to get ready for third-party cookie deprecation in Chrome, key updates and timelines and an overview of Privacy Sandbox, the Google-led initiative aiming to create technologies that protect people’s privacy online and give companies and developers tools to build thriving digital businesses.

Third-party cookies have been a fundamental part of the web for nearly 30 years. While they can be used to track website activities, sites have also used them to support a number of online experiences — like helping users log in or showing them relevant ads.

In its ongoing efforts to improve privacy on the web, Google has been investing in features that protect user data and provide more control over how it is used, including taking steps to limit the ability to track activity across different websites.

On January 4, Google began testing Tracking Protection, a new feature that limits cross-site tracking by restricting website access to third-party cookies by default. Third-party cookies were switched off in 1% of all Chrome browsers – described by Google as a “key milestone” in its Privacy Sandbox initiative to phase out third-party cookies for everyone in the second half of 2024, subject to addressing any remaining competition concerns from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority.

For many news publishers – and especially those who don’t have paywalls in place – the switching off of third-party cookies is a blow to providing free content for everyone, funded by advertising. With that in mind, one of the main goals of Privacy Sandbox is to enable publishers and developers to keep online content free.

“Billions of people around the world rely on access to information on sites and apps,” the Privacy Sandbox website points out. “To provide this free resource without relying on intrusive tracking, publishers and developers need privacy-preserving alternatives for their key business needs, including serving relevant content and ads.”

You can register for the two webinars here.


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