Google is set to phase out third-party cookies from Chrome in 2024. As internet privacy continues to be a hot-button issue for many, cookies have become a focal point in the argument for such.
Third-party cookies are responsible for personal advertising and have been for over a decade. But although third-party cookies will eventually be phased out in Chrome, first-party cookies remain. But what exactly are the differences between first and third-party cookies?
First and Third-Party Cookies Come from Different Sources
When it comes to cookies, one of the biggest differences is where they’re sourced from.
To preface, first-party cookies are the cookies that accompany a successful user experience. These cookies are stored directly by the website and agglomerate data such as user settings, data, and more. As this implies, first-party cookies are sourced directly from the website you visit. Since they’re sourced from the website you visit, these cookies do not track your behavior on other websites.
Third-party cookies, on the other hand, are sourced through a third-party server like an AdTech vendor (e.g. Amobee, Basis Technologies) or a line of code on the publisher’s website. These cookies are used for methods such as advertising, retargeting, and other social media purposes. So if you’re ever wondering why you’re getting ads for the latest iPhone after looking it up, it’s because third-party cookies are hard at work. Moreover, publishers can make money with these by placing an ad serving code on their site.
Another key difference between cookies is their default browser availability. First-party cookies are supported by all browsers and can be deleted at any time. Deleting first-party cookies is always an option, but in doing so, you’d have to log back in to all the websites for whose cookies you’ve deleted.
Third-party cookies are generally supported by all browsers, though are blocked by most. This is because of the privacy concerns that they present, as many are fighting back against its perceived invasion of privacy. This is ultimately what’s led to Google ultimately ending third-party cookie support.
The Difference in Cookie Availability
Lastly, cookies differ in availability. First-party cookies are available directly from the domain you’re on. On the other hand, third-party cookies are available on any site that loads the third-party code.
As third-party cookies track your activity and deliver you ads based on your behavior, the number of websites that load said third-party code will decrease as Google soon phases them out.
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