Privacy Sandbox Google (1)

The Privacy Sandbox Is Delayed (Again): why and what are the next steps?

Simon Harris 24 apr. 2024

The Privacy Sandbox Is Delayed (Again): why and what are the next steps?

In news that shocked very few, Google announced yesterday that they are delaying the phasing out of third party cookies in Google Chrome until Q1 in 2025.

The announcement was made on Tuesday ahead of quarterly reports from Google & the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) that is overseeing the deprecation of third party cookies in Chrome.

In the announcement Google said that they recognised that there are ongoing challenges related to reconciling divergent feedback from the industry.

When announcing the delay Google also acknowledged that it was important that the CMA had sufficient time to review data from industry testing ahead of the deprecation as progress here has been slower than hoped.

Why Has This Happened

Picking beneath the headlines and public statements, what is driving this delay? 

  1. Sellers worry that some of Google’s ads proposals will reduce their open marketplace yields and harm their ability to monetise their first party data via direct sales, reducing ARPU.

  2. Buyers are concerned that their current ways of working from targeting to measurement will undermine their ability to deliver digital campaigns and this will impact their billings.

  3. Ad Tech believes that some of these fine details of these proposals might entrench Google’s market dominance, for example by mandating that Google Ad Manager is the "Top Level Seller," controlling the Protected Audiences (PA) ad auction.

Additionally the UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is believed to have concerns about the Sandbox initiatives. It has been reported that they feel the proposals do not do enough to protect privacy and this could be a factor that behind the scenes has forced the delay.

What is next?

Despite the gloating from some, this proposed delay isn’t a significant one Google is proposing pushing the rollout to Q1 & Q2 2025:

Pushing the deprecation of third party cookies back from Q4 2024 to Q1 2025 is arguably a much more favourable time frame for rolling out new and disruptive technologies during the busiest time of year for the industry.

The key question is will this delay of one quarter give Google enough time to:

  1. Assuage the CMA’s competition concerns that exist around this technology.
  2. Address the alleged concerns the ICO has about these initiatives.

The answer to this is unclear, but in the face of uncertainty there is the potential for the industry to remain in the limbo that has engulfed it over the past 24 months. 

For those that want to focus on driving their business forward and not browser updates, DPG Media has a solution. Over the last 3 years we’ve invested heavily in first party data and identity and buyers that work directly with us, including via our Ad Manager, can leverage this investment and will be unaffected by these changes.

Simon Harris
Programmatic trading expert

21 artikelen