Google rumored to replace cookies with anonymous identifier for ad tracking

A future version of Chrome may do away with third party cookies.

Google may be planning to finally ditch the dreaded cookies that are a part of most web browsers in favor of a new method to track the activities of Internet users. USAToday reports, via unnamed sources, that the proposed replacement for cookies would be an anonymous identifier, or AdID.

The article claims that AdID would be set up in web browsers, such as Google's own Chrome, so that users would be able to limit the amount of data that are sent to online advertisers from the settings menu. The article also says that people could even set up a second AdID for their browser to keep certain web surfing sessions particularly private.

The AdID feature would be used by online ad companies to target specific ads to browser users but they would also have to adhere to certain rules about how to use those identifers. The article adds that Google will let advertising groups, along with consumer organizations and government officials, take a look at its proposal before it is launched.

Google has yet to make this AdID idea public. In a statement to USAToday, a company spokesperson said only that they have a number of ideas in this area but that they are "... all at very early stages." However, some ad company representatives seem to think that such a system would put too much power in the hands of Google. Mike Zaneis, the general counsel for the Interactive Advertising Bureau, said, "They could deprecate the use of that ID on a whim, basically, and severely undermine billions of dollars in digital ad spending."

Source: USAToday | Image via Google

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