This evening, Google announced a new and more detailed timeline for implementing its Privacy Sandbox, which includes FLoC and Fledge.
“The Privacy Sandbox proposals are in various stages of development,” the Privacy Sandbox website notes. “This timeline reflects when we expect new technologies will be ready to support key use cases, so that Chrome can responsibly phase out third-party cookies. Information may change and will be updated monthly.”
As of today,
FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts) and Fledge (First Locally-Executed Decision over Groups Experiment) will now be ready for adoption by Q3 2022, Google says, and the firm has established a two-stage transition period for implementation that starts in Q4 2022. And the second stage of the transition period will begin in Q3 2023.
Google announced that it would switch to the Privacy Sandbox and end support for the third-party cookies that are typically used today to track users in August 2019, and it started getting serious about the implementation in March 2020. But this decision has met with a lot of pushback. Brave, DuckDuckGo, Vivaldi, and others have all pledged to block FLoC, though Microsoft, curiously has not. In June, it revealed that it would delay its release from 2022 to 2023. Today’s announcement provides a more concrete timeline.
That said, the timeline could still change. As Google notes, it will be updated monthly as needed going forward, and as feedback comes in, it could adjust the timing again.