Data Privacy and the Global Push for Transparency

Tides are changing for everyone in the digital advertising sphere…

Cookies are to be phased out by 2022 according to Google’s new plan, which will have an immense impact on advertisers who solely rely on third-party data to pinpoint online audiences and strategize their media campaigns around these.

For Google to take this debate seriously and remove 3rd party cookies altogether shows a global shift in attitude towards online security and privacy. As an advertiser, I’d love all the data in the world, but there comes a time when there is too much of a good thing. Look over to the past few years, in 2018 we saw the UK adopt the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation (which was first introduced into the EU in 2016), which ensured a significant increase in data transparency from websites and media platforms towards their users. Hence why no matter what site you go on to now, the rather annoying cookies banner pops up.

"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"

A statement was made by Google regarding phasing out cookies by 2022.

Further to Google planning the phase-out cookies, Apple is now taking more extreme measures to hand with their latest iOS14 update. As you may have noticed if you have an iPhone yourself, this gives the user an option to opt-out of apps tracking and gathering their data.

Once a user selects this, the app they are using is no longer able to track their cookie information in order to build up data on said user, which advertisers can use to reach specific, tailored market segments, which often leads to more personalised ads, and typically higher conversion rates compared to the likes of contextual targeting. This again is stripping back useability for advertisers to target specific and unique audiences, through platforms such as Facebook and Snapchat, which rely heavily on 3rd party cookie data.

This push for privacy has seen an increase in users for browsers such as DuckDuckGo and Firefox. However, this does not appear to have Google worried, with their more recent push to focus ads in and around their Google Maps software, which is expected to be one of their highest earners at $11 U.S Billion dollars by 2023.

The relatively new kid on the block DuckDuckGo has seen a huge increase in popularity in recent years, with privacy becoming more and more ubiquitous to users worldwide. Should Google be more prepared? Or is removing 3rd party cookies the first step towards this? In correlation to their statement above, it appears they believe this is the only way forward to maintain a healthy and free digital eco-system.

The end of cookies is not the end for highly targeted ads however, with Google creating the “Privacy Sandbox” an initiative set up in 2019 in order to maintain advertiser’s ability to tailor ads to potential customers, whilst maintaining a strong and transparent safety barrier for the user. This has reportedly seen promising results, with their new “FLoC” process, according to CNBC “It says advertisers can expect to see at least 95% of the conversions per dollar spent when compared to cookie-based advertising.” A promising development, but Google will use several systems in conjunction with each other, in order to promote a new decade of advertising, and privacy.

In conclusion, there is a massive shift coming to the digital advertising world, with the likes of Facebook and programmatic advertising which rely heavily on 3rd party cookies now at risk of losing their ability to deliver highly targeted ads for their advertising base, but there is light at the end of the tunnel, with new developments in Google’s Privacy Sandbox; ensuring you have a highly skilled digital team, who understand the upcoming changes to digital advertising regulations, and have the ability and know-how to ensure the smooth running of multi-channel campaigns that are equally effective is of utmost importance to the success of your business. For more information on how we can help run tailored advertising solutions for you with one of our advertising experts, please get in touch today.

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