Google plans to transition Chrome users to its cookie alternative FLoC from Q3 2023. This is evident from the company’s revised Privacy Sandbox timeline. Initially, the tech giant planned to do this in early 2022, but it was postponed.
The Privacy Sandbox website , which Google updates monthly, shows timelines for all of the Privacy Sandbox components Google currently has in development. Part of that is FLoC , the company’s previously announced cookie alternative.
Most of the Privacy Sandbox components are currently in the discussion stage, meaning the technologies and their prototypes are currently being discussed on GitHub and in W3C groups. Only the Trust Tokens API, which is used to combat online spam and fraud, is currently in a test phase. This makes the api available for developers to test. Earlier this year, Google already tested its FLoC technology . That test was discontinued earlier this month . Google does not make the feedback obtained public.
Google expects all APIs from the Privacy Sandbox to be “ready for adoption” by Q4 2022. This is followed by a period of several quarters, during which Chrome keeps track of adoption numbers and feedback, before moving on to the final phase of adoption. It should start in the third quarter and last until the end of 2023. At that stage, support for third-party cookies will be removed from the Chrome browser, thus fully transitioning all Chrome users to FLoC.
Google proposed its Privacy Sandbox in 2019 and officially announced the initiative early last year . The company then wanted to implement the initiative “within two years”, but the tech giant postponed that in June until the end of 2023 . It has now made this release period more concrete.
The Privacy Sandbox is not undisputed, as regulators and civil rights movements fear that it will give Google too much power. The British competition authority has already launched an investigation into the initiative. Google made several commitments to that regulator, but the authority is still in consultation, so the investigation will not be completed for the time being.