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  • Voltaire Staff

Google begins limiting third party cookies on Chrome browser

Google has begun its 'Tracking Protection' initiative that will restrict website access to third-party cookies by default, which will limit cross-site tracking, and chances of privacy invasion by marketers.

The introduction of Tracking Protection was started on Thursday, according to a previous release, with a 1 per cent of Chrome users globally to enable developers to test their readiness for a web environment without third-party cookies.

The tech giant began the testing as part of its 'Privacy Sandbox initiative,' which aims to phase out third-party cookies for all users by the latter part of 2024.

The California-based firm in a statement on December 14 last year explained the initiative as an industry-wide effort to develop new technology that will improve people's privacy across the Web and apps on Android.

"The proposed solutions will limit tracking of individuals and provide safer alternatives to existing technology on these platforms while keeping them open and accessible to everyone," it had said.

Since the invention of the internet, third-party cookies have played a crucial role in web interactions, enabling various online experiences such as login assistance and personalised ads.

With the Privacy Sandbox, Google claims it is striving to adopt a responsible approach to phase out third-party cookies by providing tools for supporting sites and allowing developers time to adapt.

Participants for Tracking Protection will be randomly selected, and those chosen will receive a notification upon opening Chrome on desktop or Android, Google said.

As users with Tracking Protection browse the web, third-party cookies will be restricted by default, diminishing the ability to track activities across different websites. If a website encounters issues without third-party cookies, users will be prompted with an option to temporarily re-enable them for that specific site, ensuring a smooth browsing experience.

According to a conference paper published by SpringerLink in July 2023, browsers have not kept up with their security against any third party data collection with their increased use.

One of the problems affecting privacy online cited by the publisher were browser extensions that users might unknowingly add to their browsers.

To show how simple it is to create one of these extensions that invades privacy, they made a demonstration that worked on different types of devices to show that even though browser makers try to stop these harmful extensions, they still pose a serious threat to people's privacy.

There is also a lawsuit which claims that Google failed to obtain explicit consent from users for collecting information about their online behaviour.

The legal action, a proposed $5 billion class-action suit, claimed that Google's analytics, cookies, and apps enabled the tracking of user activities, even when users browsed sites in privacy modes like "Incognito" on Google's Chrome browser.

This allegedly allowed Google to amass detailed personal information about users' preferences, hobbies, and online searches, it alleged.


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