In a blog post regarding the latest version of Chrome, developer relations engineer Adriana Jara described how Topics API “allows a browser to share information with third parties about a user’s interests while preserving privacy.”
Topics that could be of interest are recorded from browsing activity without actually tracking the sites an individual visits, which is then sent on to inform relevant ads without the associated data that cookies entail.
According to a report by The Verge, Google is likely to enable APIs for around one-third (35%) of browsers over the course of this week, with plans to enable them for the majority (99%) of browsers when Chrome 116 becomes available (likely in mid-August 2023).
Currently, Google’s progress with regard to Privacy Sandbox looks to be on track as per a May 2023 announcement that it would enable APIs starting with the July Chrome release. This is despite some early delays to the program.
Looking ahead, the next stages are for Google to deprecate third-party cookies for one percent of Chrome users in the first three months of 2024, helping developers to deepen their real-world analyses of how the new APIs are set to change browsing and online tracking.
During the final three months of this year, Google also hopes to allow developers to simulate third-party cookie deprecation in Chrome for some users, facilitating controlled testing.
Following the testing phase, Google currently maintains its plans to phase out third-party cookies entirely by Q3 2024.
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