The digital marketing landscape is set to undergo a seismic shift with the impending deprecation of third-party cookies by Google. Google initiated trials of its new privacy features on January 4, 2024, discontinuing the use of third-party cookies in the Google Chrome browser for a small fraction of 1% of its users. Chrome, which dominates the global web browser market, plans to eliminate the use of third-party tracking cookies for all its users by the end of 2024.

Google’s move to eliminate third-party cookie support in Chrome is a component of a broader project, the Privacy Sandbox, a project that comprises several initiatives designed to create open standards that will notably enhance online privacy.

This move, which follows similar actions by other major browsers since 2017, is largely driven by growing consumer demand for privacy. However, it also raises significant questions about the future of personalized advertising and the potential impact on marketers.

But as the saying goes, when one door closes, another opens. The deprecation of third-party cookies is paving the way for the rise of server-side tracking, a forward-looking technology that promises to revolutionize online data collection. In this article, we delve into the world of third-party cookies, why they are being phased out, and how server-side tracking can offer a viable solution.

Understanding Third-Party Cookies

To understand the implications of this change, it’s crucial to first understand what third-party cookies are and how they function. Unlike first-party cookies, which are created by the host domain and used to enhance the user experience, third-party cookies are placed by entities other than the website owner and they are primarily used for tracking and online advertising purposes. These cookies amass enormous amounts of personal data from end users, often without their consent or knowledge, which are then traded and sold in the digital advertising industries.

For instance, if you visit a website and see an ad for a product you were browsing on another site, that’s the work of third-party cookies. They track your online activity across various sites, gathering data that advertisers use to serve you personalized ads. All of the data that third-party cookies collect can be put together to create extensive profiles on users. These profiles can then be sold to advertisers, who target their ads on an individual level. With growing concerns about privacy and data protection, third-party cookies have come under scrutiny and are now set to be phased out.

The Implications of Third-Party Cookies Deprecation

The deprecation of third-party cookies is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it addresses privacy concerns and gives users more control over their data. On the other hand, it threatens the personalization capabilities that many marketers rely on. Without third-party cookies, marketers may struggle to deliver personalized ads, potentially leading to less effective campaigns and a negative impact on brand perception.

However, it’s important to note that while Google and Apple’s moves to eliminate third-party cookies may seem to benefit them due to their direct customer relationships, it also presents an opportunity for marketers to adapt and innovate.

The end of third-party cookies doesn’t mean the end of tracking, and the need for true end-user consent to process personal data will persist long after third-party cookies and the technologies replacing them.

Here are some steps you can take to prepare for third-party cookie deprecation:

  1. Understand the changes: Stay informed about the latest developments in Google’s Privacy Sandbox initiatives and other similar efforts by other browsers. Understand what these changes mean for your website and your users.

  2. Review your current use of cookies: Conduct a thorough audit of your website to understand what cookies you’re currently using, why you’re using them, and how they impact your users’ privacy. This will help you identify any areas where you may need to make changes.

  3. Prioritize first-party data: With the deprecation of third-party cookies, first-party data will become even more valuable. This is the data you collect directly from your users, such as through forms, surveys, or user behavior on your website. It’s often more accurate and reliable than third-party data, and it’s collected with the user’s consent.

  4. Implement consent management: If you haven’t already, implement a consent management platform (CMP) on your website. This will allow you to obtain explicit consent from your users before you collect or process their data. It will also help you comply with data protection laws like the GDPR.

  5. Test new technologies: As third-party cookies are phased out, new technologies and methods for tracking users and delivering targeted advertising are being developed. Test these new technologies on your website to see how they work and how they impact your users’ experience.

Server-side tracking can be a viable solution to the impending deprecation of third-party cookies, as we’ll explain it to you in more detail below.

The Role of Server-Side Tracking

Unlike client-side tracking, where data is communicated directly between the browser and a tracker (third-party cookies or pixels), server-side tracking collects data on its own server. This gives website owners complete control over the collected data, eliminating the disadvantages of client-side tracking, such as browser settings and ad blockers.

Server-side tracking offers several advantages:

  1. It provides a more accurate and comprehensive view of user behavior. It is not affected by browser restrictions or ad blockers, which are becoming increasingly common. This means that data collection is more consistent and complete, allowing for better analytics and insights.

  2. You have complete control over the data you collect on your website. You are no longer dependent on external trackers to use large online advertising platforms. Through APIs, you can share the necessary data for campaigns with these platforms and you are the one to decide which data to share.

  3. Server-side tracking is more secure and privacy-friendly. Because data is stored on the server, it is less vulnerable to manipulation, or theft. This can help to build trust with users and comply with data protection regulations.

  4. Server-side tracking allows for better performance, which means faster loading times for a website. By offloading the data processing to the server, it reduces the load on the client’s device, as no external scripts need to be loaded in the user’s browser.

  5. Server-side tracking is not affected by the deprecation of third-party cookies, making it a sustainable solution for the future.

However, implementing server-side tracking requires technical expertise and resources. It also requires careful management to ensure data privacy and compliance with regulations. But with the right approach, server-side tracking can provide a powerful tool for understanding and engaging with your users in a post-third-party cookie world.


The deprecation of third-party cookies is a significant change for the digital advertising industry and, as we navigate this new landscape, it’s important for marketers to stay informed and agile. This is not the end of personalized advertising, but rather the beginning of a new era – one that prioritizes user privacy without compromising on personalization.

As we move towards a future without third-party cookies, server-side tracking is set to play a crucial role in regaining control over website data, providing accurate, reliable, and secure data collection. By leveraging server-side tracking, marketers can continue to deliver personalized experiences, maintain effective measurement of their campaigns, and ultimately, thrive in a post-cookie world.

In the end, it’s not about who wins or loses, but about how we adapt and evolve in the face of change. As we move forward, server-side tracking will play a crucial role in shaping the future of digital marketing.

So, are you ready for the post-cookie world? If not, now is the time to start preparing and you can rely on us in this process. Our team can help you set up server-side tracking, ensuring that you continue to gather valuable insights about your audience, even in a post-third-party-cookie world. Let’s embrace the change and leverage server-side tracking to its fullest potential!