Google announced it will not replace the phasing out third party cookies with something equally to track users across the web.
Google "will not build alternate identifiers to track individuals as they browse across the web".
“Instead, our web products will be powered by privacy-preserving APIs which prevent individual tracking while still delivering results for advertisers and publishers,” writes Google. “Advances in aggregation, anonymization, on-device processing and other privacy-preserving technologies offer a clear path to replacing individual identifiers.”
Third-party cookies have been blocked on both Safari and Firefox and the major browser Google Chrome will do the same soon.
To track a user for a longer period, a few companies are working on solutions to workaround the tracking Prevention features in Safari Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP).
This solution is widely used by data analytics solutions like Adobe, and some consent management platform also suggested this solution to publishers.
In response to this trend, Apple announced several updates on ITP to prevent it. The lastest ITP 2.3 stopped CNAME Cloaking.
Apple makes it clear to tech vendors, any new solution of tracking users will be stopped in the future.
The alternative solution to the third-party cookies proposed by Google to the industry is Google's Privacy Sandbox.
The browser will still track the user's activities, but hide the individual inside a large crowd of “cohorts” with similar interests.
Technically this approach is no different from personalised targeting by targeting individual.
"We realize this means other providers may offer a level of user identity for ad tracking across the web that we will not — like PII graphs based on people's email addresses," writes Google. "We don't believe these solutions will meet rising consumer expectations for privacy, nor will they stand up to rapidly evolving regulatory restrictions, and therefore aren’t a sustainable long term investment."
Google's Privacy Sandbox is hiding the tracking activities with five application programming interfaces. Advertisers can see the crowd interest data with the API. It is relying on a person's browsing habits within the Chrome browser.
Industry players have concerns about Google's approach because the Chrome browser is unbalanced owned by Google. "Google has a long track record of tipping the scales in its favour in order to protect its share of advertising dollars." - said DigiDay.
The solution of decreasing reliance on the third-party cookie proposed by one of the largest DSP The Trade Desk is built from hashed and encrypted email addresses. Although it is announced as an open-source solution, they have not publicly released any source code as of today.
Similar to The Trade Desk, there are about 19 different 'unified ID' providers: BritePool ID, CriteoID, Halo ID, ID+, ID5 ID, IdentityLink, IntentIQ ID, LiveIntent ID, Quantcast ID, Verizon Media ConnectID etc.
Prebid.org said they will also support Unified ID 2.0 of The Trade Desk.
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The core issue of the web today is that it is not balanced, not transparent to consumers and publishers.
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