Today, Google announced that support for third-party cookies will continue until the end of 2023, giving marketers more than a year’s extension from their previous plan to block third-party cookies by 2022. Privacy Sandbox initiatives are delayed as more tests take place.

The purpose of the privacy sandbox

Google’s privacy sandbox initiatives are designed to help protect people’s privacy, but at the same time give publishers and advertisers the opportunity to make money, which in turn keeps the network open and accessible. The goal is to create a solution that circumvents and prevents other alternative tracking solutions, such as fingerprinting.

New deployment schedule

Google released a new release schedule for the Privacy Sandbox initiatives, stating that they need to make sure they have enough time to test.

Prior to deployment, each proposal must go through a rigorous testing process, unlike other APIs and network technologies. The testing process follows three steps:

  1. Discourse:Proposals are discussed in open forums such as the GitHub and W3C groups. Throughout the process, Google has invited people to join the FLoC discussion.
  2. Testing:Origin tests follow the discussion. The purpose of these experiments is to provide feedback. Google noted that the FLoC origin study received a significant amount of feedback. After the initial experiment, the feedback is included and adjustments are made accordingly, after which they continue further testing of the ecosystems.
  3. Ready to accept:Once the testing process is complete, the technologies will be launched in Chrome, but Google points out that it takes time to do the testing responsibly, which has delayed deployment.

Once testing is complete and deployment is ready to continue, Google intends to follow a two-step deployment process:

  • Phase 1: The first phase will begin in late 2022, when testing is complete and APIs will be launched in Chrome. At this time, publishers and advertisers have time to move on. Google plans to allow nine months for adoption and will follow up on adoption and feedback during this period before proceeding.
  • Step 2: The second phase will begin in mid-2023. At this point, Chrome will stop removing support for third-party cookies within three months with a plan to remove support completely by the end of 2023.

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Google has stated that they offer a more accurate schedule privacysandbox.com, which is regularly updated to provide greater clarity and to ensure that developers and publishers can plan their testing and transition schedules.

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