• Blog >
  • Google third party cookie phaseout delayed again to 2025

In a significant development for digital marketers and brands, Google has once more postponed the deprecation of third-party cookies in its Chrome browser.

Originally set for a 2023 phaseout, the timeline was pushed to late 2024 and now further extended to 2025. This delay underscores the complex challenges of balancing industry needs, regulatory scrutiny, and privacy considerations.

The Current State of Play

Google’s decision to extend the timeline was announced in conjunction with the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and is detailed in their joint quarterly report on the Privacy Sandbox initiative. The report highlights ongoing efforts to address feedback from various stakeholders, including regulators and developers, and the necessity for further industry engagement and testing.

Why the Delay?

According to Google, the extension is critical to ensure all feedback is reconciled effectively and that there is ample time for regulatory review. Google's statement emphasised the importance of allowing the CMA sufficient time to evaluate evidence from industry tests, with market participants expected to submit their data by the end of June.

This marks the third delay in Google's original plan, initially announced in January 2020, to enhance user privacy by phasing out third-party cookies. The repeated postponements reflect the difficulties in shifting away from cross-site tracking while accommodating the interests of advertisers and maintaining user privacy.

Transitioning to Privacy Sandbox APIs

With the deprecation now pushed to 2025, digital marketers and publishers are granted additional time to adapt to Google’s Privacy Sandbox APIs, the proposed alternatives to third-party cookies. These APIs aim to provide a privacy-first approach to delivering relevant ads and measuring campaign performance without relying on cross-site tracking.

Implications for Marketers and Brands

  1. Extended Transition Period

    The delay offers a longer adjustment period for brands and marketers to experiment with and transition to the Privacy Sandbox solutions. This can alleviate some immediate pressures but also underscores the need for continued innovation and adaptation in ad strategies.

  2. Regulatory Scrutiny

    The involvement of the CMA and the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) indicates heightened regulatory oversight. Brands must stay informed about regulatory updates and be prepared to comply with new data privacy standards as they emerge.

  3. Temporary Cookie Access

    Google’s limited "deprecation trials" program provides temporary cookie access extensions until December 2024 for non-advertising use cases demonstrating direct user impact and functional breakage. However, advertising-related services are ineligible, necessitating the exploration of alternative data strategies.

  4. Future-Proofing Strategies

    Given the potential for further delays, marketers should prioritise future-proofing of their data collection and ad targeting strategies. This includes investing in first-party data collection, contextual advertising, and other privacy-compliant solutions.

Preparing for a Cookie-Less Future

While the delay provides more time, it is crucial for marketers and brands to actively prepare for the eventual phaseout of third-party cookies. The focus should be on developing robust data strategies that prioritise user privacy and comply with evolving regulatory requirements.

Steps to Take Now:

  • Enhance First-Party Data

    Invest in collecting and leveraging first-party data to build direct relationships with consumers.
  • Explore Privacy Sandbox

    Start testing Google’s Privacy Sandbox APIs to understand their capabilities and limitations.
  • Stay Updated

  • Keep in the know of regulatory developments and industry best practices to ensure compliance and competitive advantage.

  • Innovate

  • Embrace innovative ad targeting and measurement techniques that do not rely on third-party cookies, such as contextual advertising and AI-driven insights.

The extended timeline to 2025 is both a reprieve and a call to action. By taking proactive steps
now, brands and marketers can navigate this transition smoothly and emerge stronger in a privacy-centric digital landscape.


● ● ●