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Developer’s Guide to Third-Party Cookies

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Personalization plays a crucial role in creating a memorable user journey on a website. Most websites invest significant resources in ensuring that visitors have a personalized experience.

To achieve this, cookies are used to collect essential information about users’ browsing habits. These cookies enable the website to design a unique user experience tailored to each visitor.

Why Are Third-Party Cookies So Important?

Third-party cookies are widely utilized on the internet, making it essential for developers to understand their implications for privacy obligations. There are various types of cookies, each serving a distinct purpose with its own benefits and drawbacks.

Third-party cookies are particularly significant in the digital space as they allow businesses and websites to be visible to potential customers even when they are not on their own sites. By embedding JavaScript across different websites, these cookies collect data as users browse the web, enabling targeted advertising based on their search history and browsing patterns.

Even after users end their browsing sessions and exit their web browsers, third-party cookies continue tracking them during subsequent sessions. Consequently, users may see familiar advertisements on websites they visit for the first time. However, this poses a challenge for developers.

While these cookies effectively deliver ads with high conversion potential, they come at the cost of continuously harvesting user data and violating privacy.

Third-Party Cookies and Privacy

Cookies, especially third-party cookies, can significantly threaten privacy if not properly managed. Most websites have Google’s JavaScript embedded in them, which allows Google to accumulate cross-site activity information from its vast pool of internet users. Google then uses this data to display targeted ads based on the personalized information collected through third-party cookies.

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As a result, users are likely to see related ads regardless of the websites they visit. Fortunately, there are regulations and privacy products available to appropriately manage these cookies without compromising the overall user experience.

The Securiti privacy center is a comprehensive resource that provides relevant information and mechanisms related to privacy on websites, including detailed cookie policies. With this product, developers can easily monitor and classify third-party cookies on a website, enabling proper consent notifications. Additionally, developers can block third-party and non-essential cookies without requiring additional coding.

The Future of Cookies

The concerns surrounding the privacy implications of third-party cookies are not new. In January 2020, Google announced that it would phase out support for all third-party cookies on its Google Chrome platform by 2023. This initiative aligns with Google’s focus on enhancing user privacy and introducing the “Privacy Sandbox” for an enriched browsing experience. Other major web browsers, such as Apple’s Safari and Mozilla Firefox, have already begun phasing out third-party cookies on their respective platforms.

However, Google is not completely abandoning user tracking across different sites. It has introduced Federated Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) as an alternative to third-party cookies. FLoC enables tracking a group of people instead of individuals.

For developers, this means adopting a different approach to tracking customer behavior across the web and implementing necessary changes on websites based on insights derived from this tracking.

While third-party cookies may soon become obsolete, developers need to stay informed and knowledgeable about the alternatives that will replace them in order to continue creating websites that consistently attract users and provide a memorable browsing experience.

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