Google Chrome is the most popular web browser on the Internet even if you don't look at all the other browser's that use Chromium as their sources. Chrome gives Google telemetry data but also power to push technologies that it favors over others that it does not.
The company revealed plans to phase out third-party cookies recently on the official Chromium blog to increase "the privacy of web browsing". Google wants to address the need of "users, publishers and advertisers" before it starts to phase out support for third-party cookies in the Chrome web browser "within two years".
Some web browsers started to block third-party cookies outright or implemented anti-tracking mechanisms to improve user privacy. Google states that it looked at those solutions and decided against implementing any of these because of "unintended consequences that can negatively impact both users and the web ecosystem".
Tip: Chrome users may disable cookies on chrome://settings/content/cookies by setting "block third-party cookies" on the page to on.
One side-effect of blocking cookies outright is that other methods of tracking, fingerprinting in particular, became more widely used.
The company plans to launch privacy improvements in Chrome in February and anti-fingerprinting protections later in 2020. The improvements that will land in Chrome in February 2020 will limit insecure cross-site tracking.
Google is an advertising company first and foremost as the bulk of the company's revenue comes from its advertisement branches. It is clear that there is a strong desire for privacy on the Internet and Google, though in a comfortable position in regards to Chrome currently, cannot just sit back and watch how other browsers torpedo the company's revenue streams.
Sitting back would work for a while but it is likely that users would start to use other browsers, Chromium-based or not, more as time passes by thanks to better privacy protections and options.
If Google does not react now, it may not have the might that it has now thanks to Chrome to push certain changes.
Phasing out third-party cookies use on the Internet is one thing but whether that is really beneficial to users, advertisers and sites depends on potential replacements. It is possible that Google's replacement will mostly be beneficial to the company itself and less or even disadvantageous to others.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.