Google will end support for third-party cookies that track users in Chrome within two years, the tech giant has announced.

The world's most popular web browser said it would "phase out" support in order to "fundamentally enhance privacy" for hundreds of millions of users around the world.

It follows other popular web browsers like Firefox and Safari, which already block third-party cookies by default.​

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Third-party cookies are used by websites other than the one the user is visiting, and are particularly popular among advertisers. First-party cookies created by the website the person is on will not be affected.

Google announced on Tuesday evening that it wants to make third-party cookies "obsolete" and hopes to develop alternative standards to "sustain an ad-supported web" that may be less invasive.

Rivals such as Safari and Firefox have already moved to block third-party cookies, but Google suggested changing too fast could have "unintended consequences that can negatively impact both users and the web ecosystem".

The work is part of the company's Privacy Sandbox initiative announced in August, which aims to build a more private but "healthy, ad-supported web" for users.

"Users are demanding greater privacy, including transparency, choice and control over how their data is used, and it's clear the web ecosystem needs to evolve to meet these increasing demands," Justin Schuh, director of Chrome engineering at Google, wrote in a blog post.

"After initial dialogue with the web community, we are confident that with continued iteration and feedback, privacy-preserving [mechanisms] can sustain a healthy, ad-supported web in a way that will render third-party cookies obsolete."

It will take two years for Google to completely phase out support for third-party cookies but it will begin limiting cookies in Chrome from February.

Additional reporting from agencies.

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