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Current Affairs

Google ads and cookies

Date: 04 March 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

 Google has announced plans to phase out support for third-party cookies on its Chrome browser. 

 

Background

The company will not be building new technology to support user tracking on its browser, once the cookies are phased out.

 

Details

  • The decision will have a significant impact on digital advertising given that Chrome is the most popular browser across the world.

  •  It also signals shift in Google’s approach, which is pitching itself as more privacy-centric.

  • It should be noted that Apple’s Safari browser and Mozilla’s Firefox are already blocking all third-party cookies.

  • Third-party cookies help websites and advertisers track user behaviour on the web. They are later used to serve user preference targeted ads.

  • Once Google phases them out, it will become harder to push targeted ads and this will impact both the effectiveness and pricing of ads.

 

Alternative mechanism

  • Google’s web products will be powered by privacy-preserving APIs which prevent individual tracking while still delivering results for advertisers and publishers.

  • Google is proposing a new approach called Federated Learning of Cohorts or FLoC which aims to track clusters of people with similar interests, instead of individuals.

  • Google will continue to support first-party relationships on its ad platforms for partners, in which they have direct connections with their own customers.

 

Cookies

  • Cookies are text files with small pieces of data that are used to identify your computer as you use a computer network.

  • Specific cookies known as HTTP cookies are used to identify specific users and improve your web browsing experience.