It’s 2 AM. You’re fresh off a GBBO marathon and over-inspired to whip up a creme brulee, only to find that you don’t, in fact, own a set of ramekins. You immediately search for “ramekins” online because you absolutely must make creme brulee right now, and proceed to fall swiftly down a bakeware black hole, ultimately falling asleep at your laptop. When you wake up, the craving has passed and you laugh at the episode as nothing more than a fever dream. Not long after, you’re unceremoniously served an ad for a culinary torch. Why? Because for one fleeting moment, you thought you would make a creme brulee.
Though Google will still track and target users on their mobile devices and on its own platforms including YouTube and Google Search, it has made the decision to stop selling web ads targeted to individual users’ browsing habits, and its Chrome browser will no longer allow cookies that collect that data. As such, ad companies that once relied on cookies will need to scope out another solution to target users.
Though the move came as a shock to some, Google had actually been working on it for years. Other browsers, like Safari and Firefox, beat it to the punch and blocked third-party cookies for their own platforms already. Google’s third-party cookies give it access to millions of consumers’ online whereabouts, begging the question: does privacy exist anymore?
As it turns out, Google will still track user browsing behavior across the web, but now it will group individuals into cohorts based on those habits, clutching the cookie for another two years. As such, advertisers will then target their ads to these groups, instead of to individual users.