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Prepare for third-party cookie deprecation
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Prepare for third-party cookie deprecation

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Prepare for a privacy-first future

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Prepare for a privacy-first future

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People are asking for more privacy on the web - while two-thirds of consumers want ads that are customized to their interests, nearly half are uncomfortable sharing personal information in exchange for tailored ads.

To meet those expectations, Google is moving away from third-party cookies and advertising solutions that track individual users as they browse.

What are third-party cookies?

Cookies make browsing the web easier by saving browsing information, like your login, preferences, or location. First-party cookies are created by the site you’re using, while third-party cookies are created by other sites.

What is Chrome doing about third-party cookies?

Privacy Sandbox is a series of proposals to phase out third-party cookies, while:

  • Building new technology to keep your information private
  • Enabling publishers and developers to keep online content free
  • Collaborating with the industry to build new internet privacy standards

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Key dates

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Q1 2024

On January 4th, Chrome launched Tracking Protection, a testing period for third-party cookie deprecation for 1% of Chrome users.

Q3 2024

This testing period will continues through to Q3 2024 when, after consultation with the UK's Competition and Markets Authority and pending any competition concerns, Chrome will plan to begin disabling third-party cookies for all Chrome users.

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What third-party cookies are used for

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Marketing cookies help advertisers deliver targeted advertisements. They can be used to:

  • Understand a user's interests
  • Track visitors across websites
  • Gather information about browsing habits

Publisher first-party cookies cannot be used to track users across the web. They are scoped per publisher, are not shared with other publishers, can’t be joined with any other identifiers and are subject to user consent.

Functional cookies are necessary for a website to function properly. They enable basic functionalities like:

  • Page navigation
  • Content personalization
  • Comments
  • Sign-in
  • Registration
  • Payment
  • Access to secure areas, like paywalls
  • Remembering user preferences, like language or font size

Analytics cookies are used to gather information about how users interact with a website. They provide you with insights into their behavior, like:

  • Number of visitors
  • Most popular pages
  • Average time spent on the site
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Remove any remaining Universal Analytics code

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If you use Google Analytics, you’re likely to have migrated from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 last year.

If you're still accessing and using Universal Analytics, you have until July 1, 2024 to migrate your data.

If you’ve already migrated from Universal Analytics, but are still seeing Google Analytics cookies in your report, it might mean you have Universal Analytics code remaining in your site.

To deprecate these cookies, you’ll need to remove any remaining Universal Analytics code, or update any plugins that are still using Universal Analytics.

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Update site plugins and code libraries

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You might be using plugins or other code libraries for marketing, site functionality, or analytics to provide a smoother site experience, like

  • Keeping your audience logged in
  • Saving site preferences
  • Allowing third-party logins

It might be helpful to review some common use cases for third-party cookies to identify all the plugins and code libraries you are using.

If you use a CMS like WordPress or Newspack, update your plugins in your dashboard or settings, or contact your vendor directly for assistance.

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Check in with vendors and third-party service providers

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In addition to plugins, you might be using other vendors or service providers as part of your site experience.

Every vendor or provider should have a plan for third-party cookie phaseout.

For example, you may need to:

  • Upgrade a version of a library
  • Change a configuration option in the service
  • Take no action if the third party is handling the necessary changes themselves.

In some cases, you may need to identify an alternative solution.

If your vendor or provider hasn’t announced those plans yet, check in with them to understand their approach.

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Report breakages

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The Chrome team wants to learn about scenarios where sites break when third-party cookies are restricted, to ensure they provide adequate guidance, tooling, and functionality to allow sites to migrate away from their third-party cookie dependencies.

If your site or a service you depend on is breaking with third-party cookies disabled, you can file an issue on the breakage tracker.

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Audit your cookies with the Privacy Sandbox Analysis Tool

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  1. Go to goo.gle/psat
  2. Select Add to Chrome
  3. Open your site in a new window
  4. Select the extension and select Analyze this tab
  5. Go to DevTools for more detail

Under the Cookies section, you’ll see a list of all of your third-party cookies.

This list doesn’t include what vendors or plugins are using those third-party cookies. If you see Google Ads, DoubleClick, Tag Manager, or other Google products, it may be from an outdated plugin or code library.

Developers can also use the tool to test for breakages by viewing your site with third-party cookies disabled.

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