At the start of 2020, Google announced a plan to make third-party cookies “obsolete” in Chrome as part of its Privacy Sandbox initiative. In an update, the company said “more time is needed across the ecosystem to get this right” but did provide a more firm timeline today.

As the biggest browser vendor, Google says it “need[s] to move at a responsible pace” to allow enough time for public discussion “on the right solutions,” while publishers and the advertising industry need time to migrate:

This is important to avoid jeopardizing the business models of many web publishers which support freely available content. And by providing privacy-preserving technology, we as an industry can help ensure that cookies are not replaced with alternative forms of individual tracking, and discourage the rise of covert approaches like fingerprinting.

Google today said Chrome is looking to “phase out third-party cookies over a three-month period, starting in mid-2023 and ending in late 2023.” This schedule is subject to approval from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority.

Before that occurs, the company wants to have “key technologies” launched by late 2022. This includes the widely disabled FLoC (chrome://settings/privacySandbox) and other privacy-preserving APIs. In all, this is the two-stage plan for third-party cookies in Google Chrome:

  • Stage 1 (Starting late-2022): Once testing is complete and APIs are launched in Chrome, we will announce the start of stage 1. During stage 1, publishers and the advertising industry will have time to migrate their services. We expect this stage to last for nine months, and we will monitor adoption and feedback carefully before moving to stage 2.
  • Stage 2 (Starting mid-2023): Chrome will phase out support for third-party cookies over a three-month period finishing in late 2023.

Back during the 2020 announcement, Google said it was targeting the phase-out for “within two years.” The company will soon provide a more detailed schedule that will be updated regularly.

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