Google says it won’t follow you directly in the future because it will phase out cookies

Google is clarifying its targeted advertising plans by phasing out the use of browser cookies, stating in a new blog post Wednesday that it will not use other means to “track” users on the Internet after terminating support for cookies in Chrome.

Last year, the company said it would end support for third-party cookies, which power much of the digital advertising ecosystem, in its Chrome browser within two years starting in January. 2020. Instead, Google says it will only use “privacy technologies” that rely on methods such as anonymization or data aggregation.

Blog post from David Temkin, director of product management for ad privacy and trust, says company questions whether Google “will join other ad technology players who plan to replace third-party cookies by other user-level identifiers. ”Advertising technology players have been working on marketing means that balance consumers’ privacy while maintaining the personalization of advertising after they can no longer use any Cookies.

“Today, we make it clear that once third-party cookies are removed, we will not create other identifiers to track individuals as they browse the web, nor will we use them in our products,” indicates the publication of Google.

Cookies are small pieces of code that websites provide to a visitor’s browser that remain when the person visits other sites. They can be used to track users across multiple sites, target ads, and see their performance. Google said last year that it would end support for these cookies in Chrome once it understood how to meet the needs of users, publishers, and advertisers and come up with tools to mitigate solutions. bypass. The company said its intention is to do so within two years, in early 2022.

To do this, Google launched its “Privacy Sandbox” initiative to find a solution that both protects user privacy and allows content to remain available for free on the open web. In January, Google said it was “extremely confident” about the progress of its cookie replacement proposals and plans to start testing a proposal with advertisers in Google Ads next quarter. This particular proposal, called “Federated Cohort Learning,” would essentially place people into groups based on similar browsing behaviors, meaning that only “cohort IDs” and not individual user IDs would be used to. target them.

Google says it’s about how its own ad products will work, not restricting what can happen to Chrome by third parties. The company said it won’t use Unified ID 2.0 or LiveRamp ATS in its advertising products, but it won’t specifically talk about a single initiative.

Unified ID 2.0 is an initiative that a number of large ad technology companies are working on together that is said to rely on hashed and encrypted email addresses from consumers giving consent. Public company LiveRamp also has what it calls its “authenticated traffic solution,” which it says involves consumers choosing to take control of their data and, on the other hand, brands and publishers. can use this data.

Temkin says in the article that other providers “may offer a level of user identity for tracking web advertising that we won’t – like PII charts based on people’s email addresses.” ”

“We do not believe these solutions will meet growing consumer expectations for privacy, nor resist rapidly changing regulatory restrictions, and therefore will not be a sustainable long-term investment,” the blog says. “Instead, our web products will be powered by privacy-preserving APIs that prevent individual tracking while delivering results for advertisers and publishers.”

Google had informed a number of major advertisers and groups about the post before Wednesday, including George Popstefanov, founder and CEO of digital agency PMG.

Popstefanov said in an email that although this is a dynamic change, “we’ve been preparing for it for some time.”

“Following last year’s announcement to phase out third-party cookies, many of our customers quickly mobilized to build their data infrastructures and invest in their CRM, in order to better leverage their first-party data”, did he declare. “The important thing is that consumer behavior does not fundamentally change, just our ability to track and measure the behaviors we are used to. The importance of strategic planning and information will be more important than ever to understanding audiences. and how to connect. at the right time and in a contextually relevant way. “

He added that he believes Google is motivated to design its products and solutions to adapt to the new reality.

“Marketers are already diversifying their spending into more areas at the top and bottom of the funnel, so it will be on Google for its solutions to attract brands and support marketers’ investments and impact.” , did he declare.

Alec Stapp, director of technology policy at the Progressive Policy Institute, called the Google news a step in the right direction for user privacy. The group has received funding from Google and other big tech players, Protocol reported last year.

“However, companies – even very large ones – can’t do much on their own,” he said in an email. “Policymakers need to step in and formalize the rules that protect user privacy while being careful not to bury users in a never-ending series of opt-in screens.”

Jon Halvorson, global vice president of consumer experience Mondelez International, said the move was consistent with consumer feedback on what they want and what they expect. He said the company would test “FLoC” and incorporate it into business plans for this year.

“We don’t think it can be privacy or performance, advertisers need and demand both,” he said in an email.