By Mark Andrews
Mar 23, 2021 9:32:28 AM

Online Privacy & The Death Of Third Party Cookies

Google’s recent announcement was either a shockwave or much of nothing, depending on who you talk to.

The latest news is that Google will not support the development of any ‘alternative identifiers’ including those that use hashed email addresses. This put certain initiatives in the firing line.

For me this wasn’t surprising, Google had already made it’s position clear on tracking and privacy. Whether that is truly down to protecting users privacy or a strategic move that strengthens Google’s owned and operated ecosystem is another matter.

But what do advertisers do with this news? Well the approach doesn’t really change.

Advertiser’s should focus on three key areas to prepare for the depreciation of third-party cookies: 

  1. Audit your current data setup

Advertisers should ‘lean in’ now and identify the risks. Assess what data is collected, stored, organised and used today. What are the use cases and what won’t be possible in 12 months? Only when you understand the challenge your business faces and the size of the issue, can you begin to plot a path forward.

  1. Test, test, test

There is not going to be a single bullet solution. It’s going to be complex and fragmented. However Safari, Firefox and App environments are good testing grounds now (due to the lack of third-party cookies). Both advertisers and their agency partners should be proactive and begin testing alternative solutions, shifting away from a dependency on third-party cookies where possible.

  1. Data & Tech Strategy

Advertisers need to use the output of the data audit (step 1) and begin to create a new approach that is future proofed (where possible) from the challenges that are being faced. This might mean a reliance on the walled gardens in the short term, or it might mean aligning the business behind an open web initiative, or a combination of both. 

What advertisers should definitely be doing is not waiting for the solution to come to them. Get investigating, get testing and start planning. The old saying of ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ comes to mind.