Google has announced that it’s planning to phase out support for third-party cookies in Chrome within the next two years. Google said the new plans have been sparked by users demanding greater privacy and control over how their data is controlled; both Safari and Firefox have strong measures in place to prevent third-party tracking already, and Google will not want to lose user share because of its privacy practices.
In an announcement, Director of Chrome Engineering, Justin Schuh, acknowledged that several browsers have started blocking third-party cookies but also claimed that this method has “unintended consequences” that hurt the web ecosystem. He said that blocking third-party cookies just encourages opaque fingerprinting practices.
While Google works with others in the web ecosystem to develop privacy-friendly solutions, support for third-party cookies will be gradually removed from Chrome. From February, Chrome will limit insecure cross-site tracking; with this change, third-party cookies will have to use HTTPS and any that don’t, or don’t include a SameSite label, will be treated as a first-party cookie.
In order to detect and mitigate more covert tracking, Google will be developing anti-fingerprinting technologies and deploying them in the browser later this year. It hopes these measures will help discourage fingerprinting.
Going forward, Google is working with other browsers, publishers, developers, and advertisers to develop more privacy-friendly mechanisms to keep the web healthy. Google wants feedback on the web standards community proposals that have been published on GitHub to ensure they meet your needs. To raise an issue just file an issue through GitHub or email the W3C group.