Google is adding the Privacy Sandbox APIs to Chrome for everyone in July. These offer alternatives to third-party tracking cookies that Google says are more privacy-friendly. From then on, web developers can integrate the APIs before the system becomes the standard.
The Privacy Sandbox APIs should become available as part of Chrome 115. Google says that web developers can test the APIs with live traffic and thus prepare to work without third-party tracking cookies. From that moment on, Google also promises not to make any ‘significant changes’ to the API interfaces.
It is the intention that developers will be able to choose to test the Privacy Sandbox APIs “for a consistent experiment group” in Q4 2023. That way they have time to make sure that no third party cookies will be used throughout the process.
In the first quarter of 2024, “one percent” of Chrome users will have third-party cookies disabled. Google warns that if sites have not implemented an alternative to third-party tracking by then, certain features of the site may not work properly for that user group. It is still the intention that third-party cookies will be completely phased out in the second half of 2024.
The implementation of Privacy Sandbox and the phasing out of third party cookies has been postponed several times. In 2019, third-party cookies were intended to be removed from Chrome within two years. However, the British Competition and Markets Authority, among others, was not satisfied with the initiative and demanded that Google adjust the initiative to make it more privacy-friendly for end users. Google says it is waiting for the CMA to issue its final verdict on the plan before making more precise plans for phasing out third-party tracking cookies.