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Google always seems to be changing things. From search algorithms to timeframes on a cookieless future. Previously, Google said that the plan was to phase out third-party cookies in 2023. Yet, on Wednesday, Google's VP of Privacy Sandbox, Anthony Chavez, announced that they plan to start the beginning of the end in the second half of 2024.
It seems that Google has yet to determine the proper path of what the future will look like while not hurting its business, which is heavily predicated on advertising revenue. As companies move towards a cookieless future, Google has to figure out how to help those companies focus on the new era of privacy-centric advertising without losing relevance. I wrote a piece on using first-party data in a cookieless world a few weeks ago, as 2023 is right around the corner as we edge closer to Q4 of 2022.
Related Article: First Party Data in a Cookieless World
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Google started a Privacy Sandbox initiative "to collaborate with the ecosystem on developing privacy-preserving alternatives to third-party cookies and other forms of cross-site tracking," according to Chavez. There have been mixed results with the trials with developers, thus far, resulting in the delay and refinement of the next iterations of advertising. Chavez gave some insight into the current state:
The most consistent feedback we’ve received is the need for more time to evaluate and test the new Privacy Sandbox technologies before deprecating third-party cookies in Chrome. This feedback aligns with our commitment to the CMA to ensure that the Privacy Sandbox provides effective, privacy-preserving technologies and the industry has sufficient time to adopt these new solutions. This deliberate approach to transitioning from third-party cookies ensures that the web can continue to thrive, without relying on cross-site tracking identifiers or covert techniques like fingerprinting.
For these reasons, we are expanding the testing windows for the Privacy Sandbox APIs before we disable third-party cookies in Chrome.
This delay may come as a welcome sign to some, while others that were already working towards the changes may see it as a waste of efforts and time already put into developing the next iteration of customer data ownership. However, I don't recommend waiting. The writing is on the wall. This change is coming, whether it be in 2024 or beyond, depending on what takes place over the next several months. Google is still continuing to test the privacy sandbox with developers and plans on releasing the Privacy Sandbox APIs in general availability in Q3.
Getting ahead of the change with owning your first-party data is going to be key, no matter the changes that Google makes. As we've seen, since Apple allowed users to opt-out of advertising tracking within apps with the update to iOS 15, Facebook lost $10 billion in revenue. These user tracking changes have significant ramifications for some revenue streams, and you'll want to stay ahead of them.
Owning your data and having first-party and behavioral impact advertising solutions will have a better impact and complete ownership of the audience intelligence at your fingertips. As we've seen the increase of privacy laws, such as GDPR and CCPA enacted, more data and privacy regulations will come about.
Need help getting a CDP and owning your first-party data? Let us know and we'd be glad to help.