Google made a rather surprising announcement in 2019 about its intentions to take user privacy seriously and begin taking steps to stop allowing third parties to track users via Chrome.
Now, they’ve just followed up with some more concrete information and plans.
- Google will be moving away from supporting user-agent strings in Chrome, which have been used for decades to present identifying information to websites about the specific browser, its version, the web rendering engine, and the underlying operating system. While such info has been used to help optimize delivery of web content to a browser, it’s also been abused in the form of fingerprinting to track users. Google will also eventually migrate to a newer, more privacy-friendly technology known as client hints.
- Google has also stated that they’ll be implementing several privacy measures in Chrome, later this year. Perhaps more significantly, they’re planning to phase out support for third-party cookies within two years. This is apparently to allow digital ad companies some time to make adaptations to their business model.
While these intended moves should generally be well-received, it’s worth noting that Google hasn’t stated anything about limiting the ability to use their own cookies or any of their proprietary user tracking data. After all, Google is a business that needs to make money to be sustainable.