Google’s New Diet: No More Third Party Cookies

Julia Sellman
Marketing in the Age of Digital
3 min readMar 28, 2021

--

Not sure about you, but I’ve been getting way more pop-ups when I enter websites asking me if I’ll allow the website to track me using cookies. No, I do not mean the chocolate chip kind. These third-party cookies are pieces of coding that track not only what you’re doing on that brand’s website, but give that brand access to your entire web surfing history and more. These cookies are an invasion of privacy in my opinion. And until recently, websites weren’t even required to ask for permission to invade our lives without us even knowing.

What’s Google doing about it?
Google has explained it will be phasing out the use of its third-party cookies. This is the “diet” I’m referring to. It claims that all a sudden the company cares about user privacy and this is a way to protect individuals against the big bad internet. So basically instead of websites being able to track all of our actions on the internet as a whole, they can only track our actions and information on the website they own. I guess that seems fair right? Although realistically, Google has a world’s worth of information on all of us, and that’s not going away.

Many believe that this move to do away with third-party cookies is sure, a way to protect users, but is also a ploy for Google to gain even more power in the advertising world (I also didn’t even know that was possible). However, Google will remain to have significant access to our information — it just won’t go spreading it to every other website out there. And therefore, it will have all the power.

What do I think?
In the marketing world, things are changing. Smaller companies that relied on this third-party data will now be way more limited in campaigning their brands. However, it’ll force companies to act smarter and to use the limited data they have to make the best decisions possible. As a soon-to-be-marketer myself, I haven’t fully felt the effects of these decisions and the phasing out of third-party cookies. I know this will of course make it more difficult to target consumers, but as a consumer myself, I can’t say I’m upset that companies can’t track me as much. I mean who else is creeped out when they’re talking to a friend about buying a shirt on Bloomingdales to then have that exact shirt pop up on an Instagram ad on their phone two minutes later?

The truth is, the phasing out of third-party tracking cookies has been a long time coming. Will this make my future job more difficult due to a more limited amount of information? Yes, definitely. However, as a consumer do I feel ever so slightly safer knowing that a few less people sitting behind their computer screen can track my every move? Sure. Even though I know we all know that anything you do on the internet can be tracked either way. So, I guess this is a step in the right direction. Let’s just hope it doesn’t have a hugely negative long-term effect on the ad industry.

--

--