Almost every company — including, very likely, your own — uses them. Every phone, computer, and smart device stores them. They’re cookies, or small text files that keep track of activity as people browse websites. Third-party cookies are those that follow people from site to site, gathering data on their preferences and behavior as they go. They’ve been the foundation for marketing, sales, and consumer experience strategies. But they’re about to go away.
In January 2020, Google announced that it would phase out support for third-party cookies by the start of 2022. Cookie-based data is typically collected without consumers’ explicit consent. This has raised privacy concerns and set companies on a quest to find better, more privacy-conscious ways to gather and share consumer data. Google isn’t first in responding to these privacy issues. Some browsers, such as Apple’s Safari and Mozilla’s Firefox, already block third-party cookies by default. Apple’s operating