Google says it won’t develop new ways to follow individual users across the Internet after it phases out existing ad-tracking technology from Chrome browsers in an upcoming overhaul aimed at tightening up privacy.
The digital giant has been working on proposals to remove from Chrome third-party cookies — snippets of code used by a website’s advertisers to record browsing history in order to show users personalized ads.
Third-party cookies have been a longstanding source of privacy concerns.
Instead, Google proposes to group together web users with similar interests and keep web histories private on users’ devices.
In a blog post, David Temkin, Google’s director of product management for ads privacy and trust, said the company keeps getting questions about whether it will join others in the advertising technology industry that plan to replace third-party cookies with alternative, user-level identifiers.
“Today, we’re making explicit that once third-party cookies are phased out, we will not build alternate identifiers to track individuals as they browse across the web, nor will we use them in our products,” Temkin wrote.
Google plans to roll out the changes by next year.
It still will be able to track users itself through data collected from its services like Search, Maps and YouTube.
Its proposals have drawn criticism from players in the online ad industry as well as scrutiny from regulators in Great Britain over concerns that it will will add to the tech giant’s dominance in online advertising.
Chrome is the world’s dominant web browser. Many rival browsers, including Microsoft’s Edge, are based on Google’s Chromium technology.