Google delays phaseout of third-party cookies from Chrome to 2024

The company said it would give organizations more time to test its Privacy Sandbox APIs.


Google is again delaying its plan to phase out third-party cookies in Chrome. For those keeping track, the company first unveiled its Privacy Sandbox initiative in 2019 and said implementation would begin in 2022. However, following scrutiny from the United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the US Department of Justice, Google delayed the phaseout to mid-2023 last year. On Wednesday, the company announced a further delay and said it won’t end support for third-party cookies before the second half of 2024.

“The most consistent feedback we’ve received is the need for more time to evaluate and test the new Privacy Sandbox technologies before deprecating third-party cookies in Chrome,” said Anthony Chavez, Google's vice president of Privacy Sandbox. “This feedback aligns with our commitment to the CMA to ensure that the Privacy Sandbox provides effective, privacy-preserving technologies and the industry has sufficient time to adopt these new solutions.”

A chart showing Google's current timeline for phasing out third-party cookies from Chrome. The company won't end support for third-party cookies until 2024.

Under its current timeline, Google will expand the availability of its Privacy Sandbox trial to “millions of users globally” by early next month. The company then plans to gradually roll out the test to more individuals throughout 2022 and 2023. It hopes to officially launch the Privacy Sandbox APIs by the third quarter of 2023. “This deliberate approach to transitioning from third-party cookies ensures that the web can continue to thrive, without relying on cross-site tracking identifiers or covert techniques like fingerprinting,” said Chavez.

Google’s replacement for third-party cookies was initially known as Federated Learning of Cohorts or FLoC. At the start of the year, the company announced a new approach called Topics. As the name suggests, the API will track your interests. Initially, Google plans to categorize the websites you visit based on one of 300 topics. When you visit a website that supports the API, Chrome will share three random topics you’re interested in. The site’s publisher can then further share that information with their advertising partners to decide what ads to show you. In theory, that should create a more private browsing experience.