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Google ‘trust marks’ are here to remove cookies on a peg



Google said earlier this year it would join other browser companies to block third-party cookies in Chrome, and today, developers have their first chance to try out a proposed tracking alternative of users across the network: trust arguments.

Unlike cookies, trust tokens are created to authenticate a user without having to know their identity. Trust marks will not be able to track users across websites because they are theoretically all the same, but they can still allow websites to testify to advertisers that actual users – not bots – visited a site. or clicked on an ad. (An explanation on GitHub suggests that websites can release many different types of trust arguments, though.)

Google has been a little slower to tailor a solution to third-party tracking cookies that everyone seems to hate; Safari and Firefox already block them by default, although Safari is more aggressive about this. But Mike Schulman, Google̵

7;s vice president for privacy and security of advertising, reiterated in a blog post that the company still plans to eventually end third-party cookies in Chrome as well.

Furthermore, Google is making some changes to the “why this ad” button that lets you see why some ads are targeted to you. The new “about this ad” tag will now provide the verified name of the advertiser so you can indicate that businesses are targeting you, and making it clearer to people how Google collects personal data for ads. New labels will start to flow towards the end of the year.

The company also announced an add-on for its Chrome browser, currently in alpha, called Transparency Ads Spotlight, which should provide “detailed information about all the ads they see online.” Users will be able to see details about ads on a particular page, see why ads appear on a page and a list of other companies and services with a page presence, such as online analytics or networks of content delivery.


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