Differences between first and third-party cookies

22.11.2022 Angelika Siczek
cookies on the laptop

A day without the Internet? Today it seems completely impossible. We work using the web, watch movies there and seek entertainment. The face of the Internet consists of seemingly mundane cookies, which today we unreflectively accept when entering new sites. Most often we quickly click a button agreeing to so-called cookies and let it go. However, we need to keep in mind that the web does not forget, and our consent plays a not inconsiderable role in the context of the portals we visit. The moment we consent to cookies leads to the fact that websites may already be collecting data about us, and this data is extremely valuable in the online space.

Why do we agree to cookies so easily?

Until a while ago, our doubts, distrust, and sense of danger in the context of surfing the web were such that we paid closer attention to what we clicked, what we had to agree to, and made decisions more consciously. The incessant display of messages informing us about cookies has become very boring to us, and we simply don’t want to get acquainted with what we actually agree to. On the other hand, lack of consent blocks us from reviewing this or that website, which is not what we want after all.

Cookies? What are they?

The definition of cookies rubs against the cliché related to the fact that everything we do on the Internet leaves a trace. And this is a fact. If we just click a button like “I like cookies,” “I accept cookies,” “I agree to cookies,” etc. then our online presence will leave its trail for the sites we visited and recognize us as users. What types of cookies can be distinguished:

  • first-party-cookies – these types of cookies are stored in our browser directly by the site we were browsing. They are a great convenience for later use of this or that site. First of all, because Chrome cookies, among others, that remember our logins and passwords, which means that we will not have to enter our login data every time we enter a site. Safari cookies, or the aforementioned Chrome browser cookies, as well as cookies on your phone also save various settings give the site (such as language or text size). They have a very important use in online sales, due to the fact that they allow you to leave the products you put in your shopping cart. What’s more, the e-store, thanks to such files, can offer us similar products or on a cross- or up-selling basis. Thus, it can be said that first-party cookies are very valuable files that clearly enhance the online user experience,
  • third-party-cookies – this is a slightly different type of cookie used by the partners of the sites we visit. Let’s note that as long as we are interested in an item, such as a pendant lamp, and we go to even one site with this kind of products, we can rest assured that we will be followed by lamp-targeted ads. Both in the mail, on social media and on various types of news portals. So-called retargeting is possible precisely with the help of third-party cookies. The cookies collected on the phone or browser make up a database and create our online profile based on the information collected. Building our profile on the basis of behavior, browsing history or likes is called cross-site tracking. The main goal before these types of cookies is better targeted or personalized ads.


Of course, we can control cookies to some extent. Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or other types of browsers provide us with tools to be able to supervise cookies to some extent. How do we remove such records from the browser? We can do it from the settings. In the same way, we can enable and disable cookies. How to enable cookies? We can also do this in the browser settings, and the process is very simple.

Third-party cookies – Google includes procedure for removing them

Changes in the context of this type of cookies were supposed to take place as early as early 2022. However, the whole process seems to be a bit more complicated and needs to be broken down into two parts. At the end of 2022, the first phase is to be initiated, which is expected to take about nine months. During this time, all advertisers are expected to transfer their services. In the second stage (assumed to last about 3 months), third-party files are to be completely phased out.

Once cookies are phased out, Google will determine to make changes in many online spheres. Data will have to be collected differently, marketers will lose access to a great deal of valuable information about users, ad targeting will be made much more difficult. So 2023 will be a year that will redefine the online space. First of all, in the context of data collection and its use for marketing purposes.

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