Google said it would join other web browsing companies earlier this year to block third-party cookies in Chrome, and today developers have the first chance to test a proposed alternative to online tracking: token trust.
Unlike cookies, trust tokens are designed to authenticate a user without knowing his identity. Trust tokens will not be able to track users on websites because they are theoretically the same, but they can still allow websites to prove to advertisers that actual users – not bots – have visited the site or clicked on the ad. (GitHub explains that websites can issue several different types of trust tokens.)
Google has been a little slower to adapt solutions for third-party tracking cookies, which everyone seems to hate; Safari and Firefox already block them by default, although Safari is more aggressive in this regard. But Google̵7;s vice president of ad privacy and security, Mike Schulman, reiterated in his blog that the company still plans to end third-party cookies in Chrome.
In addition, Google is making some changes to the “why this ad” button, which allows you to see why some ads are targeted to you. The new “about this ad” label will now also provide a verified advertiser name, so you can tell which companies target you, and people understand how Google collects personal information for your ads. New labels will be released at the end of the year.
The company has also announced an extension of its Chrome browser, now in alphabetical order, called Ads Transparency Spotlight, which should provide “detailed information about all the ads they see on the web.” Users will be able to see detailed information about the ad on a particular page, find out why the ad is appearing on the page, and a list of other companies and services present on that page, such as website analytics or content delivery networks.