Google said it would join other web browser companies earlier this year to block third-party cookies in Chrome, and today developers have the first opportunity to try out an alternative they offer for tracking users across the web: trust tokens.
Unlike cookies, trust tokens are designed to authenticate a user without having to know his or her identity. Trust tokens could not track users across different sites because they are theoretically the same, but they could still allow sites to prove to advertisers that actual users, not robots, visited the site or clicked on the ad. (However, the GitHub interpreter suggests that sites could issue many different types of trust tokens.)
Google has been a little slower to adopt a third-party tracking cookie solution that everyone seems to hate; Safari and Firefox already block them by default, although Safari is more aggressive. But Mike Schulman, Google̵7;s vice president of privacy and security for ads, reiterated in a blog post that the company still plans to phase out third-party cookies in Chrome.
In addition, Google makes some adjustments to the “why this ad” button, which lets you see why some ads are targeting you. The new “about this ad” label will now include and approve the advertiser’s name for you to say which Businesses target you and explain to people how Google collects personal information for your ads. Distribution of the new labels will begin at the end of the year.
The company has also announced an extension to its Chrome browser, currently in alpha, called Ads Transparency Spotlight, which should provide “details about all ads on the web.” Users will be able to see detailed information about the ads on a particular page, learn why the ads are appearing on the page, and a list of other businesses and services on the page, such as Website Analytics or content delivery networks.