Technology Effects on online advertising: Google torpedoed data collection via...

Effects on online advertising: Google torpedoed data collection via cookies

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It will be more difficult for the advertising industry in the future to collect information about the behavior of users while surfing the web.

After Apple and Firefox developer Mozilla acted against so-called cookies from data collectors, Google also plans to force them out of its Chrome web browser in the next two years.

Chrome dominates the market for web navigation programs with a share of more than 60 percent. This should mark the end of this type of data collection.

Cookies are small files that a website can store in the browser, for example, to recognize a user the next time they visit. But they can also be used to follow a person from website to website.

Cookies from so-called third-party providers – such as data retailers or advertising companies – are already blocked by default in Apple's Safari browser and Firefox. This is to protect users' privacy.

Google, the largest advertising company in the world, wants to be more careful with Chrome and criticized the competition in one swipe, saying that the “harsh” approach to cookies had given rise to alternatives that also compromised user privacy.

This includes, for example, so-called fingerprinting, in which computers are recognized using a combination of features such as technical data, connected external devices and installed fonts and tracked across the web.

With reference to this, Google announced in August that instead of taking a large-scale approach against cookies, it wanted to work on alternatives in a “data protection sandpit” that dealt more carefully with privacy. The company now expects the new approach to replace today's third-party cookies within two years.

A side effect of the reorganization could also be that Google's smaller competitors in online advertising will find it more difficult to display personalized ads to their users.

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