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Google Chrome will soon make it difficult for websites to track you

Google Chrome has begun testing the new Tracking Protection tool that stops websites to use third-party cookies to track your online activities.

Edited By: Shubham Verma

Published: Jan 05, 2024, 04:57 PM IST | Updated: Jan 05, 2024, 07:10 PM IST

Some Google Chrome browser users can now protect themselves from online tracking with new feature.
Some Google Chrome browser users can now protect themselves from online tracking with new feature.

Story Highlights

  • The Tracking Protection initiative will help millions of Google Chrome users.
  • It will stop third-party cookies on a website from tracking your online activities.
  • The Tracking Protection tool will be rolled out to first to 1 percent of Chrome users.

Google has started testing a new feature that limits cross-site tracking by restricting website access to third-party cookies by default. The company has rolled out the ‘Tracking Protection’ feature to 1 percent of Chrome users (about 30 million users) globally, which is part of Google’s ‘Privacy Sandbox’ initiative to phase out third-party cookies for everyone in the second half of 2024. This feature would stop websites from tracking your online activities to offer you personalised advertisements across platforms that are a part of the data-sharing group.

“With the Privacy Sandbox, we’re taking a responsible approach to phasing out third-party cookies in Chrome,” said Anthony Chavez, vice president of Privacy Sandbox at Google. “We’re starting with a small percentage of Chrome users so developers can test their readiness for a web without third-party cookies,” he added, saying the rollout will be “subject to addressing any remaining competition concerns from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority.”

Users who will be selected for Tracking Protection will see a notification right next to the URL box in the browser. Tapping the notification will reveal a dialogue box that reads “You’re one of the first to experience Tracking Protection, which limits sites from using third-party cookies to track you as you browse.” In case a website does not work without third-party cookies and gives you issues, you can anytime turn cookies back on by clicking on the eye icon in the URL bar and then enabling the “Third-party cookies.”

The company has plans for a full rollout of the ‘Tracking Protection’ feature to eliminate cookies later this year. Third-party cookies have been a fundamental part of the web for nearly three decades. While they can be used to track your website activities, sites have also used them to support a range of online experiences – like helping you log in or showing you relevant ads.

“We’re taking a responsible approach to phasing out third-party cookies in Chrome,” said Chavez last month while announcing the ‘Tracking Protection’ test. “We’ve built new tools for sites that support key use cases, and provided time for developers to make the transition,” he added.

Chavez added, “With Tracking Protection, Privacy Sandbox and all of the features Google launches in Chrome, we’ll continue to work to create a web that’s more private than ever, and universally accessible to everyone.”

— Written with inputs from IANS

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Author Name | Shubham Verma

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