Google said earlier this year it would join other web browser companies to block third-party cookies in Chrome, and now, developers have their first chance to try a suggested alternative to tracking users across the web: trust tokens.
Unlike cookies, trust tokens are designed to authenticate a user without having to know their identity. Trust tokens cannot track users across websites, as they are all the same theory, but they can still prove websites to prove to advertisers that the real users – not bots – visited a site or clicked on an ad. (An explanation on GitHub suggests that websites can issue many different types of trust tokens, though.)
Google has been slower to adapt a solution for third-party tracking cookies that everyone seems to hate; Safari and Firefox have already blocked them by default, though the aggressive is more aggressive about it. But Mike Schulman, Google̵7;s vice president for privacy and safety of ads, rewrote in a blog post that the company is still planning to finally release third-party cookies in Chrome.
In addition, Google makes several tweets on the “why this ad” button that allow you to see why certain ads are targeted to you. The new “about this ad” label will now provide a verified advertiser name, so you can tell and companies are targeting you, and making it clear to people how Google collects personal data for ads. New labels will start rolling until the end of the year.
The company also announced an extension for its Chrome browser, currently in alpha, called Ads Transparency Spotlight, which should provide “detailed information about all the ads they see on the web.” Users can see details about ads on a given page, see why ads were displayed on a page, and a list of other companies and services with a page presence, such as website analytics or content delivery networks.