Media Trends I Like – Cookies Going Away
January 20, 2020
What exactly are cookies, anyway?
Since 1994, cookies have allowed websites to distinguish individuals out of the sea of otherwise anonymous site visitors. They have been the foundation of the personalized web-browsing experience and enabling site analytics, giving us visitor numbers, page views, reach, and so on. But many users have grown uncomfortable with being tracked across the internet in this manner.
Google announced last year in a blog post that they are building a ‘Privacy Sandbox’ solution that will keep data on a user’s browser, rather than storing it on servers. This solution is expected to roll out in 2022, with a goal of providing “a secure environment for personalization that also protects user privacy”.
Google maintains that their Privacy Sandbox will be an open initiative, built “in collaboration with the industry, to provide strong privacy for users while also supporting publishers.”
And outside of Google, I’m pleased to see that other media companies are also working to eliminate the need for cookies while keeping marketing needs in mind. This quarter, Comscore will launch a cookie-free audience targeting solution called Predictive Audiences. This solution will use “privacy-friendly” contextual signals to target audiences based on age, gender, TV viewership, OTT consumption, and other consumer behaviors, across digital, mobile, and connected TV.
Eliminating cookies is a significant restructuring of the current internet experience, and marks a seismic shift in the online marketing ecosystem. But preserving the ability to effectively target and market to audiences appears to be a high priority as online privacy concerns are addressed. I’m looking forward to the new system!