Google Announces ‘Trust Tokens’ to Replace Cookies on the Web


Google is one of the few companies working towards completely blocking third party cookies in web browsers. While the company announced its intentions earlier this year, it’s yet to actually take major steps in this regard. However, that changes today as Google is announcing ‘trust tokens’ for authenticating users.

The biggest difference between cookies and trust tokens is the mere fact that trust tokens can authenticate users without needing to know their identity. As a result, these tokens can’t be used to track users across websites. However, they can still let websites confirm that an actual human visitor clicked on an ad on a webpage, and not a bot. This is important for ad providers.

Google’s step towards a better internet also takes the form of a better ‘Why This Ad?’ experience on the web. For the unaware, when you see an ad on your browser you can click on ‘Why This Ad?’ to learn more about which metrics were used to target the ad to you. With the redesign, this page will also show the verified name of the advertiser. That should make it easier to know which companies are targeting ads towards you and based on what data.

Moreover, the company is announcing a new Chrome extension called ‘Ads Transparency Spotlight’ (download, currently in alpha). This will let users see ‘detailed information about the ads they see on the web.’ The extension will also display a list of other services that are present on the page including analytics and CDNs.



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