Digital Advertising

Google promises not to track users once cookies are phased out

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By Shawn Lim | Reporter, Asia Pacific

March 4, 2021 | 4 min read

Google has announced it will stop tracking people who are browsing across multiple websites once third-party cookies are phased out.

In a blog post, David Temkin, director of product management for ads privacy and trust, warned that if digital advertising does not evolve to meet the growing concerns people have about their privacy and personal identity will put the future of the free and open web at risk.

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Google announced plans in January 2020 to end support for third-party cookies

“Today, we’re making explicit that once third-party cookies are phased out, we will not build alternate identifiers to track individuals as they browse across the web, nor will we use them in our products,” he said.

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In response, S4 Capital’s Sir Martin Sorrell said chief marketing officers should take note that this reiterates the importance of first-party data and how consumer trust and privacy are moving to the forefront of marketing.

He added in the coming years, digital consumer relationships will be earned by customer experience and value exchange.

“With Google Chrome removing support for third-party cookies by 2022, the time for marketers to start investing in the future is now,” he said.

Why this matters?

  • Google announced plans in January 2020 to end support for third-party cookies in its Chrome browser within two years.
  • FLoC is a privacy-focused solution intent on delivering relevant ads “by clustering large groups of people with similar interests”. Accounts are anonymised, grouped into interests, and more importantly, user information is processed on-device rather than broadcast across the web.
  • Google claims FloC is delivering 95% of the conversions per dollar spent when compared to cookie-based advertising. The effectiveness varies by the strength of the clustering algorithm and the strength of the targeted interest.
  • The Chrome 90 release in April will see the first controls for the Privacy Sandbox. For the user, it will be an initial on-off decision but further customisation is to come later.
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