What should replace the third-party cookie?


Google will block third-party cookies in Chrome browser within two years. Chrome’s user base is so large that the change will have significant impacts on the digital advertising ecosystem. Currently, third-party cookies have an important role for instance in targeting and programmatic buying. Immediately after Google’s announcement there were speculations about what will replace third-party cookies in the future. The view of the future seems to vary quite a bit depending on who is asked. In this post, we’ll open up Google’s vision for the topic a bit. But let’s start with a little recap of what even is a cookie?

What is a cookie?

A cookie is a small text file that is stored on a user’s device by an Internet browser. Cookies are used, for example, to store user information when moving from one web page to another. First-party cookies are stored directly in the website you’re visiting. In addition, the website may use external services that store their own cookies. These are called third-party cookies. Cookies do not contain users’ personal information and as such are not used to identify individual users. Some cookies expire at the end of a site session, while others remain longer on your device.

Cookies are used for many different purposes. Cookies allow you to use the functions of the website and to provide the best possible user experience. For example, when a browser has information about a visitor’s choice of language and device, it is possible to provide them directly with the appropriate language and device-specific page version, thus facilitating the use of the site. Cookies also allow, among other things, different tracking tools, as well as personalized content, offers, functionalities, and ads on a per-visitor basis.

Privacy Sandbox

Google’s idea is to replace cookies with browser-based open standards, the “Privacy Sandbox” project has been launched to find their final forms. The open-source initiative was launched last August. It’s unquestionably said to be Google’s response to the growing pressure to improve privacy, ensure free advertising-funded content, and possibly block other parties’ cookies. According to Google, the goal is to create a secure standard for personalization while respecting user privacy. Google says that reaching this goal requires new approaches to ensure relevant advertising in the future too.

The Privacy Sandbox project aims to minimize the information that is shared between websites and advertisers and to store a larger part of the visitor information on the visitor’s device only. Google’s project envisions targeted advertising and measuring conversions through Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) in a browser environment. A total of at least five different interfaces have been designed, each meeting different needs. These interfaces would be used by all stakeholders.

What kind of interfaces might be coming up?

(Situation may change fast, text updated 18.3.2020)

To fight spam, fraud, and DoS (denial of service):


Targeted advertising:

Google has announced its willingness to work together openly to ensure that the Privacy Sandbox -project benefits all stakeholders. Google collects feedback and suggestions on what users are concerned about and what would be the best way to share the information

stored in their browsers. Google also wants general feedback and suggestions on Application Programming Interfaces (API). Critics have speculated that Google would just like to have more control over digital advertising. At least in principle, the move is a deliberate and sensible approach that leverages strengths – a vast ecosystem combined with powerful data collection and management capabilities – to maintain Google’s dominance.

The end result is a shared digital identifier?

The ultimate goal of the process is to convert interfaces into open network standards that could theoretically be used in other browsers too. The creation of a shared digital identifier has been anticipated as a result of Google’s Privacy Sandbox, but Google has not yet verified this information. Indeed, advertisers are now trying to determine if the standards of the Privacy Sandbox project will clear a path between Google and other parties. Would everyone have access to the same information, or would Google keep some information in itself or in its own environment to secure its position?

Although there have been some rapid changes in Chrome browser updates (like blocking fingerprinting), Google has stated that this type of project is a complex process and, based on experience, changes in the ecosystem are time-consuming. It requires reflection, discussion and input from many stakeholders for years.

We at Relevant will follow the development of the situation and continue to share it to our blog followers. Jump into our monthly newsletter to stay updated!

Read also:

Relevant Digital’s Customer satisfaction


At the end of 2019, we carried out our customer satisfaction survey among our Relevant customers. The survey was conducted for the fourth time. We would like to thank all participants for your feedback. It’s a great help for the development of our services and our future cooperation. Here is the summary of the overall results.

Read more

Buying a Display Campaign through Google – The differences in Display & Video 360 and Google Ads?


Google offers advertisers two ways of running display activity – through the Google Display Network (GDN), purchased through Google Ads and programmatically using Display & Video 360 platform of the Google Marketing Platform, which is often used with the Campaign Manager (CM) platform. Here are a few things about how systems differ.

Read more

Meet us at these events in 2020


This year we will attend at least these events. If you are attending and would like to meet us, please contact our sales or fill the form.

Read more

How Google’s decision to kill 3rd-party cookies will affect to the digital marketing ecosystem?


Google has announced its decision to block third-party cookies from Chrome in two years. In practice, this will mean a big change in user data collection and advertising targeting, as Chrome controls nearly 70% of the desktop browser market. After Google’s announcement speculation started immediately – how it will affect programmatic buying of advertising and third-party data audiences, which mainly are based on cookies currently.

Read more

Digital Marketing 2020 – What are the current trends?


Typically, early in the year, it is anticipated which topics will become the hottest in digital marketing this year. What has already changed the digital world and what is getting around the corner? What are the questions marketers are currently looking for answers to? Here are some themes that will challenge and inspire digital business and marketing professionals in 2020.

Read more