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Google Totally Changing How Ads Track People Around the Internet


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The Chrome logo with a partially eaten cookie in the middle.

Google has vowed to block cookies completely on its Chrome browser by the beginning of next year. The search engine giant says it has solutions to allow advertisers to keep showing relevant ads, but in privacy-protecting ways.

Credit: istock/The Washington Post

It's a common sight: Ads from that time you Googled flights to Cancún, or visited Nike to look for new running shoes, following you around the Internet.

Much of that tracking is made possible by cookies — little bits of code that jump off websites and lodge themselves in your browser, allowing new sites you visit to see where you've been before. Facebook and Google, the two most profitable advertising companies in history, use cookies to show ads across the Web based on info gathered on their own sites and social media networks.

But that's all changing. Google has vowed to block cookies completely on its Chrome browser, which is used by around 70 percent of the world's desktop computer owners, by the beginning of 2022. The decision, announced last year, sent shock waves through the advertising world, which has maintained revenue from tracking is necessary to fund a largely free Web.

From The Washington Post
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