Google’s public statements regarding the Privacy Sandbox Commitments that they signed with the CMA and the timeline and requirements for third-party cookie deprecation, have been consistently misleading. Google’s public timeline suggests that third-party cookies will be phased out over a two month period in the third quarter of 2024.
This is simply untrue. In the CMA’s Decision to accept Google’s Commitments, it is clearly stated that the Commitments will last 6 years (until early 2028) unless Google can prove competitive and privacy equivalence between current technologies and its proposed replacements. Considering Criteo’s testing found that Google’s Topics API was only 51% as effective as Criteo’s classifier, it would seem likely that we reach February 2028 before Google fulfils its side of the bargain (see also MOW’s post here). Needless to say, given their current progress, Google’s public announcement that third-party cookies will be gone by the end of 2024 is entirely baseless.
All that is achieved is a loss of industry faith in Google’s Adtech competitors, who might not be expected to survive beyond two years.
Header image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons (licensed for free under the Wikimedia Commons free license)