Google has announced a delay in its plan to phase out third-party tracking cookies in Chrome, with cookie deprecation now expected to begin in early 2023.


The Privacy Sandbox initiative [3] [4] [6] [7], which aims to replace cookies and enhance user privacy while still enabling targeted advertising, has faced criticism for potential privacy risks and the use of AI in browsing history search. Concerns have been raised about Google allegedly misleading Chrome users into enabling a tracking feature disguised as an ad privacy tool. Despite Google’s assurances of privacy protections through the Privacy Sandbox APIs [4], including the Topics API [7], concerns persist about the impact of AI on user privacy [4]. The company is actively collaborating with privacy and competition regulators worldwide to address these concerns and ensure a balanced outcome for users and the industry. Noyb [1] [5], a privacy non-profit organization known for filing complaints against tech companies, has previously targeted Google for alleged privacy infringements, along with other tech giants like OpenAI and Meta. Austrian privacy non-profit noyb has criticized Google’s Privacy Sandbox, alleging that the feature still allows for user tracking within the browser by Google itself [5], under the guise of enabling an ad privacy feature [5]. Noyb argues that while Privacy Sandbox may be less invasive than traditional tracking methods [5], Google’s practices still violate data protection laws [1] [5]. Despite Google’s efforts to phase out third-party cookies by early next year [5], concerns have been raised about the company’s use of dark patterns to increase consent rates for first-party ad tracking [1] [5]. In addition, Google is facing a complaint alleging that it tracks Chrome browser users without proper consent [2], amidst increasing scrutiny of its privacy practices [2]. The tech giant is working on eliminating third-party cookies with its Privacy Sandbox tools to enhance consumer privacy [2]. However, concerns have been raised about the effectiveness of these tools in protecting user privacy [2], with claims that they may still allow Google to track users within the browser [2]. This complaint comes amidst concerns raised by the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office about the potential identification of anonymous users through the Privacy Sandbox technology [2]. Additionally, Google recently faced backlash for tracking users in Chrome’s “Incognito” mode and agreed to delete data collected from millions of users following a lawsuit [2]. Austrian privacy group NOYB has filed a complaint against Google for allegedly tracking users of its Chrome Web browser through the Privacy Sandbox initiative [6]. Google argues that users consented to internal browser tracking by turning on an ad privacy feature [6], but NOYB claims users were tricked into accepting first-party ad tracking under the guise of a privacy feature [6] [7]. NOYB argues that this violates GDPR consent requirements for being specific [6], informed [1] [6], and unambiguous [6].


The delay in phasing out third-party tracking cookies in Chrome, along with the ongoing concerns about user privacy and data protection [1] [5], highlights the importance of transparency and accountability in tech companies’ practices. As Google continues to address these issues and collaborate with regulators, the future implications of the Privacy Sandbox initiative and its impact on user privacy remain to be seen. It is crucial for companies to prioritize user consent, data protection, and privacy rights in the development and implementation of new technologies.