In a blog post, Google said it will only use “privacy-preserving technologies” that prevent tracking while still delivering results for advertisers and publishers. Keep in mind Google announced over a year ago that it will end support for third-party cookies in its Chrome browser within two years. But it still gets asked about whether it will use other ways to “track” users on the web.
"We continue to get questions about whether Google will join others in the ad tech industry who plan to replace third-party cookies with alternative user-level identifiers," Google explained. "Today, we’re making explicit that once third-party cookies are phased out, we will not build alternate identifiers to track individuals as they browse across the web, nor will we use them in our products."
Cookies, code that websites push to a visitor’s browser, follow a person as they visit other sites, for the purpose of targeting ads and analysing how they perform. Google said it would end support for them once it has workaround tools.
Google even launched a “Privacy Sandbox” initiative to find solutions that protect privacy. It said a couple months ago it was “extremely confident” about some of the proposals from the initiative to replace cookies, and it will start testing one next quarter. Called Federated Learning of Cohorts, it would put people into groups based on similar browsing behaviours to target them.
Google’s new appreciation for a privacy-first web comes at a time it has been facing increasing regulatory pressure across the world.