Google plans changes to cookie management, enhances privacy

Google enhancing privacy? We'd never have thought we'd hear that from the data hole that is Google.

Google's plan to replace web browser cookies with a system that shares less data with advertisers is being investigated in the UK.

Cookies are small files a web browser stores on a user's device when they visit a webpage.  They can be used to remember what items a person has added to their online basket and deliver personalised content. They can also be used to track somebody's activity online and deliver targeted advertising.

 By default, Apple's Safari and Mozilla's Firebox browsers already block cross-site cookies.  But Google intends to go further by ending support for all cookies except first-party ones - those used by sites to track activity within their own pages.  It wants to replace them with new tools that give advertisers more limited, anonymised information such as how many users visited a promoted product's page after seeing a relevant ad - but not tie this information to individual users.

A coalition of about a dozen small tech companies and publishers - Marketers for an Open Web (Mow) - claims some of its members' revenues could drop by as much as two-thirds.

Moreover, it suggests the move would put too much power into Google's hands.

Read the full story at the BBC


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