What is 3rd-party Cookie Deprecation (3PCD)? What can we do next?


With Chrome announcing the phase-out of 3rd-party cookies by early 2025, 3rd-party cookies are on their way to deprecation. Major media platforms like Google Ads heavily rely on 3rd-party cookies for retargeting. What actions are being taken by major browsers, and what can we as digital marketers do next?

If you would like to understand the basic concept of cookies, please click here to visit my previous blog.


In 2018 and 2020, the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and CPRA (California Privacy Rights Act) were introduced, respectively. These laws give people more control over their personal data and how it is used, including the right to access, delete, and opt out of the sale of their personal information.

Both the GDPR and CPRA are dedicated to limiting tracking methods and enhancing transparency in data handling. These regulations aim to prevent companies from monitoring individuals’ online activities across websites for targeted advertising without proper consent.

As a result, these privacy laws have pushed major browsers worldwide to phase out 3rd-party cookies, commonly associated with media retargeting.

Actions taken by Major Browsers

As I mentioned in the previous article, 3rd-party cookies are mostly used by media platforms to retarget users across different websites. While this allows for more personalised advertising, it has raised significant privacy concerns.

In response, major browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari have announced plans to gradually limit or eliminate 3rd-party cookies*. This step aims to give users more control over their data and reduce cross-site tracking without their knowledge or consent.

*Remarks: Apple Safari has fully blocked all 3rd-party cookies with the release of Safari 13.1 in 2020, while Mozilla Firefox introduced Enhanced Tracking Protection (ETP) in Firefox 69 in 2019, which blocks known 3rd-party tracking cookies by default in both private and standard browsing windows.
For more details on how Google Chrome is phasing out third-party cookies, visit the Privacy Sandbox.

The move away from 3rd-party cookies represents a broader shift towards greater online privacy protections. While it may disrupt some digital marketing practices, many see it as a necessary step towards a more ethical and transparent internet ecosystem.

What can we do next in digital marketing?

Cookie Consent Banners

It is crucial to obtain clear permission before using cookies on your website. Implement a simple and user-friendly cookie consent management system that lets users control their cookie preferences. This demonstrates transparency and compliance with privacy laws like GDPR and CPRA.

Consider having two levels of consent banners:

  • Level 1: Allow users to accept or reject all cookies.
  • Level 2: Let users customise cookie preferences, including analytics, targeted ads, and website functionality. While rejecting all cookies may lead to inconveniences like frequent logins, this customizable banner empowers users to decide which cookies to allow, balancing privacy and functionality.

Server-Side Tracking

As an alternative to 3rd-party cookies, adopt server-side tracking. This method involves processing user data on the website’s server instead of using 3rd-party cookies. It provides more control over data, improves privacy, and bypasses browser cookie restrictions, though it may require technical expertise and adjustments to existing tracking setups.

Other alternatives

Beyond server-side tracking, explore other privacy-preserving technologies such as:

The key is to mix these approaches to adapt your digital marketing strategies for a future without 3rd-party cookies, prioritising user privacy and consent. This transition requires industry-wide collaboration to develop sustainable solutions.


Over the years, major media platforms have heavily relied on 3rd-party cookies for targeted advertising. This approach has led to trust issues among users and given cookies a bad reputation, despite their role in improving the browsing experience.

Along with 3rd-party cookie depreciation, digital marketers need to quickly shift to using alternatives for targeted advertising. And this shift must respect users’ privacy and be more secure.

Businesses are built on mutual respect; without respecting their users, no business can last.

Jasper Poon

Solution Consultant, Business Development

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I have solid expertise in digital project management, data collection (by GA), and visualisation. I firmly believe no single platform can tackle all modern challenges in the digital world. Alongside solid knowledge in GMP products, I am also passionate about Google Cloud and other UX analysis tools. In my free time, I find joy in cats, swimming, and football.