Google’s latest promise to stop using technologies that track users across the web has caused ripples across the wider ad tech industry.
In the announcement, Google’s director of product management, ads privacy and trust David Temkin took aim at other providers using “a level of user identity for ad tracking across the web”.
“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,” Temkin said.
This has been taken by many as a slight at the Unified ID 2.0, which has been spearheaded by The Trade Desk (and now Prebid.org) and agreed to by companies such as Criteo, SpotX and LiveRamp.
Unified ID 2.0 has been billed as an interoperable identification solution that uses authenticated logins such as emails and phone numbers, anonymised for advertising use.
And while Google’s announcement does not directly impact the Unified ID 2.0, the tech giant has been accused of using privacy to its competitive advantage.
As well as using FLoC-based cohorts to target users based on shared browsing behaviours, Google is also stressing the importance of first-party data for the future of advertising.
Given Google’s scale and market dominance, it, of course, holds a vast amount of this valuable first-party data.
S4 Capital Capital CEO and founder Sir Martin Sorrell said the news should come as a reminder for marketers.
“CMOs should take note that this reiterates, once again, the importance of first-party data and how consumer trust and privacy are moving to the forefront of marketing. In the coming years, digital consumer relationships will be earned by customer experience and value exchange. With Google Chrome removing support for third-party cookies by 2022, the time for marketers to start investing in the future is now,” Sorrell said.
Lotame CEO Andy Monfried issued the following statement.
“Google uses privacy as a shield to weaponize it’s “moat.” The Moat is YouTube and their Search business. Almost everything else is a rounding error. Make no mistake, Google is now going to brand themselves as a “Privacy Concerned” company for consumers. Don’t fall for it,” he said.
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