Cookies that track your activities may soon be obsolete. In March, Google announced that they’re now phasing down cookie support in its Chrome browser from 2022. Whether you think this is a good or bad thing depends on how you use the internet.
The death of the cookie will be tremendous pain for businesses that utilise cookies to track user behaviour and gather data for their marketing efforts and who invest a lot of resources turning cookies into customers. On the other hand, users may appreciate this development: cookies can tell a lot about you, and their abolition could increase online privacy.
This post will look at how cookies are currently utilised, why they may be phased out soon, and what that means for businesses and consumers.
What are Cookies?
Cookies are frequently referred to as “browser cookies.” They are small files that are saved on users’ devices and allow internet businesses to provide each visitor with a unique experience. Cookies save information such as browsing history, user ID, session ID, and various other bits of information using a visitor’s IP address as a unique ID.
If you dig deeper, there is a distinction between first-party cookies and third-party cookies. A website that a user is surfing creates and manipulates the first sort of cookie, which is necessary for most websites. The essential cookies are used to track a user’s movements across a website and maintain consistency between pages: without this form of a cookie, users would have to log in to each new page they visited.
Third-party cookies have been a source of privacy concerns for a long time, and several software companies have already developed systems to block or clear them from your browser cache.
Apple, for example, has blocked tracking cookies via its Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) system, while Firefox’s Enhanced Tracking Protection (ETP) now disables third-party cookies by default.
As a result, tracking cookies are no longer as effective as they once were in monitoring the activity of users who use specific web browsers. The cookie’s final death, on the other hand, could be only around the corner.
The latest version of Google’s Chrome browser, released on February 4, includes features that allow users to block cookies.
A bunch of factors influences Google’s choice. As we know, Firefox has gained market share by providing better privacy than its competitors. Google risks being left behind in the face of rising privacy concerns. New rules such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) have also had an impact: these laws impose significantly stronger limitations on how and when cookies can be used.
The addition of cookie blocking to Chrome is likely to impact cookie usage across the web significantly. This is due to Chrome’s dominance of the browser market, which now stands at over 60%. On the other hand, Blocking cookies appears to be an odd decision for a corporation whose revenue relies entirely on targeted marketing.
What’s next: Pros vs. Cons
So basically, the death of the cookie is good or bad depends on your point of view.
The usage of cookies, particularly those that can collect valuable information about users, has long been a crucial consideration for app developers, and many businesses rely on them for revenue.
As a result, the death of the cookie signifies a significant shift in how corporations grow their online presence and many companies’ essential business models. This is likely to have an impact at every stage of the business cycle, from the calculation of business loans to the development of websites and online services to the level of customisation that businesses may provide to their users.
On the other hand, the death of the cookie may welcome news for users concerned about their privacy. Cookies have long been recognised to be used for more than just serving targeted ads: they’re also utilised for government surveillance and data theft by hackers. As a result, some argue that consumers have already lost the battle for privacy.
The death of the cookie may – perhaps – tip the scales in users’ favour.
Therefore, the death of cookies, on the other hand, has been a long time coming. Blocking cookies is part of the privacy best practises for freelancers that savvy users have long known about, and innovative companies have already begun to move away from cookies as a means of tracking user behaviour.
So, here’s the thing, explore even more fundamental techniques that you may still employ to reach your consumers even without cookies, hyper-targeted adverts, or large amounts of data to keep your brand as safe as possible from future governance or monopoly-related rules. This will make you less vulnerable to technology, even if you have access to the most advanced tracking tools.