Digital Recap: The Great Cookie Crumble

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Third-party cookies are going away, and that’s big news for the digital advertising industry. Why? Cookies have been instrumental in allowing advertisers to better understand users and (surprise!) deliver the most relevant ad to aaudience most likely to convert. Cookies let us to see what sites users visit online and how they interact with a website, which gives greater insight into their interests, demographics, geographical location, etc.  

While beneficial to advertisers, privacy advocates are concerned with the ways some companies use third-party cookies to track users without consent or transparency. Browser developers are therefore ending support of third-party cookies, moving the industry in the direction to promote greater transparency for users. Read Deloitte Digital’s article for more about the impact on digital advertising. 

With only a year and a half left to adjust to a cookie-less digital future, developments on user privacy, tracking and targeting are a new constant. 

As reported by Wendy Davis for Digital Daily News, Firefox is moving to further stop online tracking on the browserThey have taken a clear stance against tracking in favor of user security. This newest update will delete some first-party tracking cookies after 24 hours to block ad-tech companies from getting around Firefox’s default privacy settings. Read Davis’s article, “Firefox takes new steps to stop tracking by ad tech companies for greater insight. 

It’s also worthy-of-note that Firefox makes up only 4.3% of the browser market share in the United States, as of July 2020. But Google, the market share leader, is also committed to blocking third-party cookies in Chrome, leading to new developments on alternatives to tracking users across their browserAs reported by Kim Lyons for The VergeGoogle released ‘trust tokens’ at the end of last month, a potential solution to authenticating users without knowing their identities. Google has also updated the ‘why this ad’ button to include the verified name of the advertiser. This enables the user to see which advertisers are targeting them and provides some transparency on how Google collects personal data. Check out “Google’s ‘trust tokens’ are here to take cookies down a peg” for more details. 

So, what’s next? As Monica Ho, Senior VP of Marketing for xAdexplains in an interview with Business Insider, location-based targeting is the future and mobile is the mediumShe describes mobile location as the ‘new intent variable,’ and posits that where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re going are better indicators of intent than the sites and applications you’ve visited. Read Ho’s full interview with Business Insider to learn more. 

As Location3’s Chairman, Andrew Beckman, points out, “This is going to be a hurdle that will really challenge the industry – outside the likes of Google and Facebook, who can track you when you are logged into their environment.” We’re continuing to stay on top of the latest updates regarding potential shifts in advertising and marketing tactics as a response to the cookie-less future, as well as consumer privacy laws and compliance. Check out Search Engine Land’s meeting today on Facebook Ads and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) compliance. Editor-in-Chief Ginny Marvin will discuss the CCPA and how to keep Facebook ads compliant with advertising and data intelligence experts. Only 100 spots are reserved for the 1PM ET live session, but you can bet Search Engine Land will make the recording available post-session.  

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