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Google Again Delays Cookie Deprecation, This Time to 2025

Cookie has once again delayed cookie deprecation on Chrome.
Image courtesy Google

In what has become a recurring plotline, Google has once again delayed third-party cookie deprecation on its Chrome web browser. Previously scheduled to be completed by the second half of Q4 2024, Google now anticipates the change will take place sometime in 2025.

This marks the third time Google has pushed back the timeline on cookie deprecation, plans for which were first announced in January 2020, when the company committed to removing tracking tech from Chrome within two years. But January 2022 has come and gone, and cookies are still a part of daily life. The latest delay comes after UK watchdog the Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) raised a series of 39 “concerns” about the plan in January 2024, key among them the impact of Google’s cookie replacement, called Privacy Sandbox, on its competitors.  

“We are particularly keen on resolving any remaining concerns relating to the design of the Privacy Sandbox tools and to ensure that Google does not use the tools in a way that self-preferences its own advertising services,” said the CMA in its January report.

UK privacy regulator the Information Commissioner’s Officer (ICO) added its own concerns to the mix earlier this month, saying that Google’s proposed cookie replacements needed to do more to protect consumer privacy,and that Privacy Sandbox leaves gaps that can be exploited to undermine privacy and identify users who should be kept anonymous.  

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“We recognize that there are ongoing challenges related to reconciling divergent feedback from the industry, regulators and developers, and will continue to engage closely with the entire ecosystem,” said Google in a statement. “It’s also critical that the CMA has sufficient time to review all evidence including results from industry tests, which the CMA has asked market participants to provide by the end of June. We remain committed to engaging closely with the CMA and ICO and we hope to conclude that process this year. Assuming we can reach an agreement, we envision proceeding with third-party cookie deprecation starting early next year.”

“We welcome Google’s announcement clarifying the timing of third-party cookie deprecation,” a spokesperson from the CMA told Digiday. “This will allow time to assess the results of industry tests and resolve remaining issues. Under the commitments, Google has agreed to resolve our remaining competition concerns before going ahead with third-party cookie deprecation. Working closely with the ICO we expect to conclude this process by the end of 2024.”

In the meantime, marketers, advertisers and developers will remain in limbo, but at this point many have developed a degree of comfort with this state of uncertainty, which already has lasted for over four years.

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