The ‘Cookiepocalypse’: Can We Play Nice In Google’s Sandbox?

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While much has been said about Google’s decision to stop supporting third-party cookies on Chrome, less has been made of the proposed solution.

A new online advertising solution, the Privacy Sandbox promises a way for advertisers to place targeted ads while still protecting user data.

Although Google Chrome has been at the centre of all the discussion around cookies, the online advertising ecosystem is far bigger than just the search engine giant.

According to PubMatic VP audience solutions Alex DeSanctis, the discussion needs to spread beyond just Google.

“I think that Google was trying to promote the community to ‘play nice’ in the sandbox together,” he told B&T at the Programmatic Summit in Sydney last week.

“I don’t understand why it needs to be Google’s Sandbox that we’re playing in – I think there’s a much larger opportunity for publishers, advertisers, to come together to better serve consumers.”

It is not as though only Google has put forward a cookieless solution.

Across the industry businesses and organisations are working to develop ways to track web users across multiple devices in a way that does not impede on user privacy like third-party cookies did.

The IAB recently revealed Project Rearc, which asks the online advertising industry to harmonise personalisation, privacy, and community.

PubMatic has also put forward its own solution Identity Hub, which ensures the buy-side can still recognise a publisher’s audience in a privacy-compliant fashion.

“Our ID solution is Identity Hub. We work with all the top players in the industry, we want to be agnostic and serve our publishers and our advertisers wherever they are,” DeSanctis said.

“The approach we have taken there is to facilitate connections using all of those IDs.”

a publisher’s world

Some have argued the removal of third-party cookies will disadvantage businesses outside of ‘walled gardens’ like Facebook and Google, as these businesses already hold so much valuable user data.

But DeSanctis argued some publishers might be in an equally privileged position.

“Publishers are receiving that opt-in first-party data, where someone says: ‘here’s my mailing address, here’s my email address, here’s my mailing address, here’s my telephone number’,” said DeSanctis.

“So there’s a certain amount of trust that publishers have with the consumer, and I think they [publishers] are the perfect partner to be at the centre of privacy and targetting.”

closing the device loop

As well as improving user privacy, the elimination of third-party cookies provides the online advertising industry with a unique opportunity to improve on what was quite often a restricting technology.

One of the major issues advertisers had with cookies was the limitations to omnichannel tracking.

It’s an opportunity that isn’t lost on DeSanctis.

“The cookie was very, very limited in the ability to connect desktop to mobile to connected TV,” he said.

“So I think this is our opportunity to really fuel omnichannel monetisation on the publishing side and deliver targetting across those channels on the advertiser side.”

 

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