Google to Cease Tracking of Users for Targeted Ads

According to a statement by Google on Wednesday, they will cease tracking users across their internet searches to sell targeted ads.

The tech giant confirmed in a blog post of their plans to not create a substitute method to track users, after getting rid of their existing tracking methods, which involves the use of third-party cookies.

‘Today, we’re making explicit that once third-party cookies are phased out, we will not build alternative identifiers to track individuals as they browse across the web, nor will we use them in our products’, said David Temkin, Google’s Director of Product Management, Ads, Privacy and Trust.

Last year, Google made an announcement that they would phase out third-party cookies with the plan to do it in the next two years, which implies tracking of users may stop in early 2022. This plan is an aspect of Goggle’s privacy initiative, ‘Privacy Sandbox’, with the objective of improving web privacy.

Google’s plan was already receiving resistance from the advertising industry. In January, the United Kingdom’s competition watchdog said it would conduct a probe into Google’s plan to phase out third-party cookies after a request for an Open Web by the group Markers, according to a report from Reuters.

In the announcement, Temkin said Google’s products will be powered by ‘privacy-preserving APIs which prevent individual tracking while still delivering results for advertisers and publishers’.

‘People shouldn’t have to accept being tracked across the web in order to get the benefit of relevant advertising. And advertisers don’t need to track individual consumers across the web to get the performance benefits of digital advertising’, he said.

He referred to Google’s data released in January which illustrated a technique to ‘effectively’ remove third-party cookies from advertising. The proposed method would rather enable ads reach people with relevant content, and ads by ‘clustering’ groups of people who have similar interests, rather than particular individuals.

Google’s plan comes just after Apple announces it is set to release a feature which would require apps to get permission from users before they can track their data across websites and apps.

Google’s announcements is only applicable to websites, but a spokesperson said Google will ‘continue to invest in privacy preserving technology for mobile’.

By Marvellous Iwendi.

Source: The Hill