All you need to know about the new Google Chrome cookie policy


In 2020, Google announced plans to remove third-party cookies from the Google Chrome browser forever. While its competitors (Safari Browser and Mozilla Firefox) disabled third-party cookies in 2017 and 2019, Google Chrome is the most used browser and is likely to have the most impact.

With over 2 billion active installs, switching to eliminating third-party cookies will create a wave that will transform online advertising around the world. But before that, it is important to understand how Google uses cookies in general.

How does Google use cookies?

Google uses five types of cookies: “Jobs, Safety, Analytics, Ads and Personalization”. By using the unique identifiers, cookies can identify specific devices or applications. The cookies then give information to the website operators. This information increases website loading speeds, manages device crash reports, and tracks passwords. In addition, cookies link searches with your Google account to improve the predictive recommendations used to display ads.

To do this, Google uses a set of unique and non-unique identifiers in its Chrome browser. The identifiers include installation tracking that detects other browsers on your device and a unique token created the first time you use Chrome. Google also uses identifiers for field trials that affect users based on their IP address, operating system, or other features such as the device's IMEI number or advertising ID.

For years, Chrome has allowed users a variety of ways to manage their cookies including deleting existing cookies and controlling cookie preferences for all websites visited. Chrome also has a feature called an incognito mode that stores cookies only when the window remains open.

Cookies come at the expense of using many Google services for free. With cookies, advertisers can track the effectiveness of their ads by showing how often they are shown and then clicked later. In some ways, cookies help ensure that the same ad is not shown all the time and that you show increasingly relevant ads.

What's new in our cookie policy?

First-party cookies are used to track information on the website you are currently browsing. On the other hand, third-party cookies send data about your browsing history back to a pre-authorized domain that may be different from the domain you are using.

For years, third-party cookies have become an industry standard as brokers use your data to create a comprehensive user profile based on your online activity being sold to the highest bidder. While it may seem at first a huge step forward for privacy advocates everywhere, it is not entirely a straightforward celebration. Here are some of the reasons.

Shift in individual tracking infrastructure

With no third-party cookies, targeting ads will be difficult for small advertisers. While this means that individual customer data will be less accessible to more eyes, this does not mean that no one is collecting it. This shift gives Google a monopoly on individual data through unique identifiers that advertisers previously had access to.

Google Chrome browser data collection

With Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLOC), Google will use your web history, first-party cookies, and other information associated with Alfred's knowledge to categorize you along with similar cookies. Google Chrome will determine the likelihood that you will be interested in things based on other people with similar interests.

Unlike third-party cookies, profile compilation is completed on Chrome by default.

Determinism of algorithm biases

While there are many claims that this change to collected data will still provide high quality leads, only time can tell. For example, while Google has been adamant that it does not use sensitive information to determine ad personalization, even the link may reveal biases that may be unethical and not easy to dismantle.

As we learned with other closed ecosystem advertisers like Facebook, algorithms can be inherently discriminatory in the form of racism and gender discrimination. When it comes to changing the infrastructure that determines user validity for ads, there is no doubt that the push for no third-party cookies will be effective. However it may not be effective or ethical. In many ways, advertisers will be at the mercy of Google's algorithm.

What the new Cookie Policy means for users

Unless you are in the advertising industry, this change will likely not change your browsing experience much. In fact, you can still expect targeted ads to follow you wherever you are on the Internet. Here are some things that are likely to happen:

Individual users

Now business owners cannot expect third-party cookies to collect data for them. Companies are likely to be more dependent on other closed ecosystems that collect user data internally. However, users should expect that ads via social profiles will vary depending on their usage within the app.

Independent Creators

Once you remove third-party cookies on Google, individual content creators will collect more data on their own channels such as websites or mailing lists. Instead of relying on the data collected from third-party cookies, the first-party data will become essential to building its user database.


With the many questions being asked, publishers who rely on ads should expect a temporary drop in revenue as advertisers adapt to the new infrastructure. Less budget is likely to be directed to these channels by smaller advertisers so that a measure of efficiency and effectiveness is released by larger entities.

Risks of declaring a closed ecosystem

With third-party cookies being blocked on Google, many advertisers will find that they have no other choice but to use closed ecosystems like Facebook, Tik Tok, etc. Closed ecosystems allow brands to retain targeted accuracy while still empowering users to maintain a certain degree of control over their privacy.

However the risk arising from the increase in closed ecosystem ads is that it is vulnerable to misuse. In 2016 Facebook intentionally inflated video metrics by as much as 900% for more than two years, manipulating and killing millions of profitable businesses in the process. While only time will tell whether pushing Google to remove third-party cookies will be beneficial to everyone in general, there is one thing that we are sure will change online advertising as we know it.

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