Google said earlier this year that it would join other web browser companies to block third-party cookies in Chrome, and today developers have their first chance to test a proposed alternative for tracking users on the web: trusted bookmarks.
Unlike cookies, trust tokens are designed to authenticate a user without the need to know their identity. Trust tags will not be able to track users on websites because they are theoretically the same, but they could still allow websites to prove to advertisers that real users – not bots – have visited a site or clicked on an ad. (One GitHub commentator suggests that websites can issue many different types of trust tokens.)
Google has been a little slower to adapt a third-party tracking cookie solution that everyone seems to hate; Safari and Firefox now block them by default, although Safari is more aggressive in this regard. But Google̵
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 “for this ad” label will also provide a verified advertiser name so you can say which companies are targeting you and making it clearer to people how Google collects personal information about ads. The new labels will start to be distributed by the end of the year.
The company has also announced an extension for its Chrome browser, which is currently in alpha, called Ads Transparency Spotlight, which should provide “detailed information about all the ads they see on the web.” Users will be able to see details about ads on a page, see why ads appear on a page, and see a list of other companies and services present on the page, such as analyzing websites or content delivery networks.