At the beginning of years, Google announced the end of third-party cookies in its Chrome browser. A bold move if we consider that Google bases its business precisely on advertising, where cookies are an essential part to track the user and offer more successful advertising. Instead they propose an alternative: trust tokens.
The cookies are essentially crawlers that handle record which sites visit each user to create a more complete and accurate record for each user on the advertiser. As a consequence, the advertiser will offer more specific ads according to the tastes and preferences of each user. However, it also has a negative point: it allows creating a unique profile of each user and being able to identify them, thus raising privacy concerns.
According to Google, they propose to use ‘trust tokens’ instead. They say they are designed to authenticate a user without revealing their identity. In theory, as they are all the same, they cannot track the user across the Internet. But still they can tell the advertiser that they are real users (not bots) and what ads they have seen or clicked on.
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The war against third-party cookies
This decision by Google to end third-party cookies in Chrome is not unique in the market. Other browsers have been betting on it for a while. Firefox has had it implemented for two months and in fact in Mozilla they even have fun with curious experiments where it opens 100 different tabs to make advertisers dizzy.
The other important actor in this peculiar fight is Apple, which in Safari has been blocking cookie tracking by default for a few years and using curious practices to mix the data of all its users as long as cookies are no longer useful. The consequences have already been seen, the prices of advertising have plummeted in Safari.
In any case, in Chrome it is also possible to better manage these cookies thanks to third-party extensions.