Experts Weigh In On Google Delaying Removal Of Third-Party Cookies Again

Google has decided to postpone removing third-party cookies in Chrome, initially planned for late 2024, now pushed to early 2025. This delay facilitates additional testing and adjustments following detailed feedback from industry stakeholders and regulators.

At present, Google limits third-party cookies to 1% of its stable users and 20% of users on its Canary, Dev, and Beta versions, preparing for a broader transition aimed at bolstering user privacy without undermining essential web functions.


Why Postpone?


The postponement arises from the necessity to address diverse feedback and regulatory reviews, specifically from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). Google acknowledges the complexity of discarding technology entrenched in web operations and seeks to ensure a balanced transition that respects privacy concerns while maintaining functionality.

“It’s essential we collaborate with the ecosystem to address issues—a hurried process could lead to adverse effects,” stated a spokesperson from Google. The gradual testing also helps stakeholders adapt by exploring alternatives like the Privacy Sandbox technologies Google is advancing.


What Alternatives Are Google Proposing?


As third-party cookies are phased out, Google advocates for adopting Privacy Sandbox technologies, which aim to preserve privacy while still providing personalised experiences. Alternatives under consideration include the CHIPS attribute for cookies, the Storage Access API, and Related Website Sets, which offer more private management of cookies.

Each solution is designed to offer developers control while aligning with stricter privacy standards. Google plans to continue trials and refine these tools through feedback from ongoing deprecation trials and industry collaboration.


What Do Experts Have To Say?


  • Edik Mitelman, General Manager of Privacy Cloud, AppsFlyer
  • Grégory Cornuz, Chief Product Officer, Equativ
  • Kofi Amoako, Regional Vice President, Addressability, EMEA, PubMatic
  • Ben Cicchetti, VP Corporate Marketing, InfoSum
  • Gaylord Zach, Head of Mobile Product, Verve Group
  • Dan Pike, CPO, Covatic
  • Marçal Serrate, Director of Data Technology, Azerion
  • Wilfried Schobeiri, Chief Technology Officer, Ogury
  • Rodney Perry, Head of Data and Analytics, Making Science
  • Jason Warner, Director UK and EMEA, SBS
  • Carlo De Matteo, Co-founder and COO, MINT


Edik Mitelman, General Manager of Privacy Cloud, AppsFlyer



“Google’s latest third-party cookie postponement feels like that friend who perpetually claims they’ll “be there in five minutes” while still in their pyjamas. Advertisers need to start controlling their own destinies, instead of obsessing over Google’s cookie dance.

“The whole ecosystem, from ad networks and DSPs to identity providers and brands, has been anticipating another delay and remains all too reliant on seeing what Google decides to do.

“Larger forces are also at play – with privacy legislation being announced at a federal level – making a watertight data collaboration strategy vital for all global businesses. Privacy Sandbox might be Google’s answer, but it’s not the only game in town. The extension shouldn’t be treated like a snooze button — advertisers have waited long enough to know that they should have a plan for building their own first-party data programme.”


Grégory Cornuz, Chief Product Officer, Equativ



“It’s unclear whether the gradual phase-out of cookies, will even continue following this latest delay. Market players are left having to choose between maintaining already high levels of investment to adapt without guarantee of return on investment, or pursue other solutions.

“As it currently stands, Privacy Sandbox will make the execution of media buying strategies on the open web more complex, even more expensive, and less effective. While Google attempts to fix its offering, marketers should look towards innovative and independent alternatives that can create value for the ecosystem, as well as a fairer and more transparent exchange of value for Internet users.”


Kofi Amoako, Regional Vice President, Addressability, EMEA, PubMatic



“Adapting advertising technology for a more privacy-centric future is paramount and is an effort worth taking the time to get right. Google’s new timeline does not change our commitment to creating a vibrant ecosystem around Privacy Sandbox as well as other addressability innovation areas like alternative IDs, contextual signals and commerce media.

“At PubMatic, we are not taking our foot off the gas. We are continuing to test and innovate around Privacy Sandbox initiatives so we can best prepare our publishers and media buyers for an inevitable cookieless future.”


Ben Cicchetti, VP Corporate Marketing, InfoSum



“Despite Google’s latest postponement of phasing out third-party cookies in Chrome, the industry must stay the course. The end game remains unchanged – cookies are on their way out, and pausing any post-cookie strategies would be a mistake. Rather than planning solely on Google’s timeline, companies must take control of their own destiny. This delay should be seen as an extra opportunity to refine and test strategies, not a reason to halt efforts entirely.

“Building robust first-party data assets and exploring opportunities for collaboration that maximise this data’s value and effectiveness must remain the priority. Moving into the new first-party data era, it is also vital that we correct past mistakes and prioritise consumer privacy. This means abandoning risky practices that have put consumer information at risk in the past, such as the sharing, centralisation, and commingling of vast amounts of personal data in third-party environments.

“For marketers, while it is critical to continue spending with online publishers, ensuring a free and open web, now is also an opportunity to explore and embrace emerging media opportunities built on authenticated, addressable audiences. Retail media, gaming, CTV, and streaming audio are already incredible opportunities to reach engaged consumers. Those media channels will only grow as consumers increasingly shop, game, and consume content almost exclusively through digital-first platforms. Now is the time to innovate and prepare, ensuring you’re not caught off guard when changes finally take effect.”


Gaylord Zach, Head of Mobile Product, Verve Group



“This could potentially be the final extension to Chrome’s Privacy Sandbox timeline and third-party cookie deprecation. The 1% cookie deprecation started earlier this year was the much-needed wake-up call to the industry to get ready for a privacy-preserving future. It’s good to see that Google cooperates and listens to the needs of the industry.

“These privacy APIs have been published for several years already, but only recently the pressure grew to the point where much-needed industry feedback and feature requests are raised. Noteworthy to say, the Android Privacy Sandbox timeline (in-app) remained unchanged. I bet Google will be on top of things for both Chrome and Android, considering the progress they’ve made so far. It’s encouraging to see how industry feedback is addressed and is making a real impact on Google’s decisions. I see this as a positive move.”


Dan Pike, CPO, Covatic



“The latest delay highlights once again that the industry cannot afford to wait and hope that Google can solve this problem for everyone else.

“The importance of being the master of your own strategic and operational destiny has never been more apparent, and the latest news reinforces the reality that over-reliance on the tech giants can disrupt or even cause lasting damage to businesses. It also highlights the value, especially for publishers, of meaningful, equitable ad tech partnerships with companies that are more concerned with consumer and publisher needs than their own bottom line.

“Rather than allowing us to take our collective foot off the gas, this announcement further emphasises the need to act. My hope is that industry players continue to invest in, adopt, and develop alternative solutions so that when the time does eventually come for cookies to meet their end, we are all well ahead of the curve.”


Marçal Serrate, Director of Data Technology, Azerion


“Passively waiting for a complete third party cookie withdrawal – or an alternative full fix from Google – risks stagnating progress in the advertising industry. The shift away from cookies remains imminent and it’s imperative for businesses to proactively acknowledge and adapt, rather than entrusting Google to singularly lead and resolve the industry’s challenges.

“As the future unfolds, the landscape is poised to become even more fragmented in terms of available solutions. Thus, finding the right partner to navigate this evolving environment is paramount for achieving success, and now there will be a bit more time to focus on this.”


Wilfried Schobeiri, Chief Technology Officer, Ogury



“Whether the cookie disappears from Chrome in 2024 or 2025 doesn’t matter: we’re at a decisive turning point in the protection of consumer privacy. This journey began way before Google made the decision to switch off cookies, and advertisers can no longer look the other way. While the competition concerns raised by the CMA – including governance of the Privacy Sandbox – are valid, enhanced consumer privacy and anti-tracking need to be the priority. Seeing these vital changes slowed once again has a detrimental impact on consumers.

“Advertisers should not see this as a chance to again postpone their move to cookieless or ID-less solutions. This latest delay should be seen as an opportunity to invest in tested and proven solutions that will allow for scale without dependency on this timeline or future industry decisions.”


Rodney Perry, Head of Data and Analytics, Making Science



“The concerns raised by the CMA created a time crunch where it was impossible to see every concern being addressed before H2. The issue is not with 3PC deprecation, which will happen eventually, but with the alternatives Google has proposed once they are gone. This announcement should not change advertisers’ strategies in the short-term – focusing on durable measurement and 1PD remain key.”


Jason Warner, Director UK and EMEA, SBS



“It’s becoming increasingly clear that placing sole reliance on Google’s timeline for cookie deprecation might not serve businesses optimally. Google’s significant influence means that its decisions often disproportionately impact smaller, independent advertisers. This recent setback underscores the importance of diversifying the market with multiple players, rather than being dependent on a single monopoly.

“Businesses would benefit from adopting a more proactive stance instead of blindly following Google’s directives. This entails exploring alternative targeting and tracking methods, prioritising first-party data collection, and fostering industry collaboration to innovate solutions. By reducing reliance on cookies and, consequently, Google, businesses can better navigate changes in the digital landscape and exert greater control over their strategies.”


Carlo De Matteo, Co-founder and COO, MINT



“With the Privacy Sandbox consultation, Google opened up a can of worms, as many in the industry still expect a targeting solution with similar functionalities and performance to be available. But let’s be clear: principally, Google is trying to solve the user privacy use case, not protecting targeting as we know it and the delay is just part of a process of undoing a system that has been built over more than a decade.

“We need to stop thinking in terms of user tracking and invest in owned data. Data ownership extends beyond first-party data to media data, which is the vast ocean of information from multi-channel, multi-asset campaigns. Think impressions, clicks, conversions and creative elements. If advertisers can learn to treat audience information as pure statistics – for example, how allocating more ad spend on a channel will affect incremental sales – campaigns can remain effective even in the post-cookie era.”