Cookies track our online behavior, and this information is utilized by websites to create targeted ads that are tailored to our interests and preferences. It may not be a pleasant thought to know that our every online activity is being recorded and analyzed somewhere, but the truth is that search engines and websites rely on this data to function.

Google is no angel when it comes to protecting the data of its users, but it has taken steps in a positive direction.

How has it been so far?

Previously, Google permitted websites to install cookies on our computers. These cookies gathered information and transmitted it to the owners, who would then use it to create our profiles in their databases. As a result, each of us now has a permanent record in the database of all the reputable online stores we have visited.

Google now cancels that.

Google Tracking protection

On January 4, 2024, Google started testing the Tracking Protection feature for the Chrome browser as part of its Privacy Sandbox initiative. As announced in their blog, approximately 1% of users were randomly selected and notified to participate in the testing process.

The Tracking Protection option will allow users to enable or disable third-party cookies themselves. It is assumed that it will become available to all Chrome browser users in the second half of 2024.

Then we will be able to choose if we want online stores to personalize our ads and test our ad resistance against their marketing experts.

Why would Google do that?

It is important to note that, when it comes to data collection, no other website can match Google. As a result of this move, Google now has a monopoly and the largest database of private data belonging to Chrome users. It is possible that this is a strategy to eliminate competition by claiming to prioritize privacy.

On the other hand, Google has a stricter privacy policy and collects data in one better protected place.

When viewed from this perspective, the level of security and privacy will undoubtedly be increased.

Google has promised to provide new tools for successful online business. Will this mean modifications to their Privacy Policy and granting access to certain databases?

Rise of privacy-friendly search engines

In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of the need to protect the private data of Internet users. As a result, search engines like DuckDuckGo, Kiddle, or Startpage, which do not collect our data, and privacy-friendly browsers such as Brave, have seen a significant increase in usage.
Legal regulations are also becoming stricter in terms of how users can be tracked.

It is possible that Google has succumbed to the pressure a little and adapted to the growing trends.

What can we expect?

Websites will no longer be able to personalize ads, resulting in more uniform ads.

Sites will need to rely on first-party data such as email addresses provided by users, contextual advertising, or the development of new tools to analyze visitor behavior.

The advocates for a free and secure internet have won yet another battle.

Matija Čaić

mag. ing., SEO specialist