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Google to move away from tracking individual internet users for ad purposes

The tech giant has plans to shift towards more privacy-friendly practices moving forward.

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Online search and advertising giant Google has years of collected data on the search habits and histories of hundreds of millions of internet users. Moving forward, the company has announced plans to curb the use of tools that track or identify individual users in a bid to appease concerns about privacy. Following last year’s announcement that its Chrome browser would suspend support for third-party cookies, Google has pledged to avoid developing alternative identifiers for user tracking with its search engine or other products.

Serving advertisements has been the financial backbone of the internet since it first reached mainstream adoption. The ways that companies track and identify users for the purposes of serving targeted ads have become increasingly sophisticated, to the point that privacy advocates have raised legitimate concerns over how tech companies collect and use such data. 

Google explains in an official blog post that they will soon move towards policies and solutions that curb individual user tracking. The company admits that the amount of data it will be able to offer to advertisers will be limited compared to other firms moving forward. Google explains that future legislation relating to user privacy will likely prevent the use of current solutions and that maintaining the status quo is “not a sustainable long-term investment.”

Proposed alternatives to third-party cookies include tracking users as groups rather than individuals. Google has plans to offer testing of new tools that collect data on pools of users with similar interests this month.

Contributing Tech Editor

Chris Jarrard likes playing games, crankin' tunes, and looking for fights on obscure online message boards. He understands that breakfast food is the only true food. Don't @ him.

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