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Google has pledged to crack down on third-party cookies in its Chrome browser for over a year now, taking progressive steps to weed out the code that collects data about you and shares it with the site you’re visiting. Cookies can be helpful in storing your user name and password, or saving your shopping cart; but they can also be used to serve up ads as you browse, making it feel creepily like someone knows what you’re looking for now—or what you looked for last week.
On Wednesday the company made a further commitment to privacy by saying it won’t replace cookies with alternative methods of tracking users in Chrome. “We don’t believe these solutions will meet rising consumer expectations for privacy, nor will they stand up to rapidly evolving regulatory restrictions, and therefore aren’t a sustainable long term investment,” Google’s David Temkin, the director of product management for ads, privacy and trust, wrote in a blog post. “Instead, our web products will be powered by privacy-preserving APIs which prevent individual tracking while still delivering results for advertisers and publishers.”
Does that mean that Google’s Chrome browser and Android OS will stop tracking you as you browse? Well, yes and no. Google’s methods have simply become more sophisticated. “Advances in aggregation, anonymization, on-device processing and other privacy-preserving technologies offer a clear path to replacing individual identifiers,” Temkin wrote.
Instead of tracking you, Google will essentially profile you, lump you into a group of like-minded people, and then serve ads based on your like-minded interests. “This points to a future where there is no need to sacrifice relevant advertising and monetization in order to deliver a private and secure experience,” Temkin added.
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As PCWorld’s senior editor, Mark focuses on Microsoft news and chip technology, among other beats.