How does Google track users without cookies

Google wants to do away with cookie tracking

The US Internet giant announced in a blog entry that the collection of data via so-called cookie tracking will be abolished. In addition, if the existing technology of his Chrome browser is phased out, no alternative tools will be built or used to track users' Internet traffic.

"To keep the internet open and accessible for everyone, we must all do more to protect privacy - and that means not only an end to third-party cookies, but also to any technology that is used to track individuals, while they surf the Internet, "said Google manager David Temkin. The changes are to be implemented by the turn of the year.

So-called cookies - short identifiers with which the server can recognize the browser - are the "gold standard" for data companies to get information about people and their Internet usage behavior. Based on their browser history, the algorithms of the large tech companies can predict with a high degree of probability which advertisements individual users could be receptive to. Cookies are stored on the consumer's device and contain information about the websites visited or their location.

Now Google is promising not to use any other technology to replace cookies or to build functions in Chrome, the world's most popular browser, to gain access to this data itself. Still, the US tech giant continues to test ways for companies to target advertising to large groups of anonymous users with common interests.

Third-party cookies - for a long time an absurdity for data privacy advocates

The leading search engine operator Google is one of several corporations whose cookies also read movements on websites that are not operated by the companies themselves. Privacy advocates have been criticizing this practice for years. There is a difference between cookies that the tech companies distribute themselves and those from other market observers, so-called third-party providers. Google had already announced in early 2020 that it would abolish the third-party cookies that have enabled online advertising for decades in order to meet increasing data protection standards in Europe and the USA. The Safari and Firefox browsers have already abolished third-party cookies.

Even without cookies, Google will still be able to track its users' paths on the Internet by collecting data from its services such as Search, Maps and YouTube.

qu / ehl (rtr, afp, ap)