August 14, 2020

Google will eliminate third-party cookies from Chrome by 2022. What will replace the cookie? Last year, third-party cookies helped fuel nearly 30 percent, or $38 billion, of all U.S. digital ad spend. So whichever technology replaces them will address critical advertiser capabilities including ad targeting, frequency capping, user privacy and attribution.

What is the problem with cookies?

Websites place third-party cookies which are bits of text on the hard drives of visitors that allow marketers to track consumers’ browsing history and behavior. Cookies have long been the basis of programmatic advertising, marketing and ad targeting. Cookies can record all kinds of information: search queries, purchases, device information, location, when and where you saw previous advertisements, how many times you've seen an ad and what links you click on. All of this and more is collected. Many times this data is collected without your consent or knowledge. That is why lawmakers felt it is time to replace the cookie.Initially, cookies were made for websites to create preferences for users and create customization. Over time they have adapted to support advertising. Since they weren’t designed for digital advertising, they lack privacy controls that is now required in regulations such as California’s Consumer Privacy Protection Act (CCPA) and the European Union’s Global Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR). Publishers, platforms and brands are looking for a replacement that is transparent and trustworthy.

Who will replace the cookie?

Neustar’s product, Fabrick, serves to unify data across disparate identity ecosystems such as, Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon. Fabrick also allows brands to fine-tune so it caters to their specific needs.Another contender is Google’s Turtledove. Although some have welcomed Turtledove as a replacement, others don't like that everything is taking place on the Google-owned Chrome browser.A solution pitched by ad retargeting kingpin Criteo, called Sparrow is also in the running. Sparrow’s solution is very similar to Google’s except data would exist on a neutral, third-party server.Third-party cookies play a large role in today’s advertising world. Replacing the cookie will be a difficult task because not only does it have to appeal to advertisers but consumers as well.Carolina Macedo, the author, is Project Coordinator of Marketing Keys.

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August 14, 2020