Google just announced that its Chrome browser will be making some consequential changes to how cookies are handled by the browser. The goal is to strengthen user privacy and allow them to decide how their data is shared. The upcoming changes to the Chrome browser are largely targeted toward third-party cookies and “fingerprinting.”

Chrome’s changes fall in line with other browsers which have already put restrictions on cross-site cookies (third-party cookies). It should be noted that Chrome plans to make third-party cookie blocking “opt-in”, meaning users will have to check a box to block them. This is in contrast to Firefox which blocks them by default and requires the user to “opt-out” of blocking to allow third-party cookies.

Omeda’s Olytics cookies are first-party cookies that are tied to the domain of the site they are dropped on, so it is our understanding that the behavior of our cookies in Chrome should not be affected by these changes. We will remain vigilant as the changes roll out to make sure there are not any unforeseen issues with our first-party cookies.

Regarding changes to “fingerprinting”: Google also plans to make “fingerprinting” more difficult in Chrome. Browser “fingerprinting” is a method of identifying a remote computing device to fully or partially identify a specific user or device. This occurs even when cookies are turned off. Omeda’s Olytics doesn’t use traditional fingerprinting to track visitors cross-site, although we do capture IP address / referrer / device information etc. As stated above, we will be ready to make adjustments to our product if changes to Chrome in this regard have unforeseen consequences.

This significant change to Chrome’s browser clearly has some immediate affects on the industry and how cookies will be controlled. There are also repercussions of these changes that we will see over time. The more limited and controlled third-party cookies become, the more important and coveted first-party tracking will be. First-party data means that your audience is consenting to their information and behaviors being recorded. This kind of data isn’t at a disadvantage to privacy and security modifications that browsers are aggressively enhancing. First-party data (with proper consent) also isn’t affected by the legislation restrictions and regulations that are consistently being implemented and revised.

If you have more questions about Chrome’s browser update, Olytics, consumer privacy laws, or any other data concerns, please reach out to clientsuccess@omeda.com.