Google’s Privacy Announcement: What now?

Google privacy announcement

Our CEO, Filippo Gramigna, gives his thoughts on the recent blog post from Google on “Charting a course towards a more privacy-first web”.

Last year the industry felt their cookie was crumbling when Google announced that third-party cookies would no longer be in Chrome, however now given Google’s recent updates, it seems they believe they can’t even pick up the remaining crumbs. But is there really a need for such doom and gloom? Personally, I think not.

A Quick Recap

Let’s recap first of all – what was it exactly that Google said? 

Today, we’re making explicit that once third-party cookies are phased out, we will not build alternate identifiers to track individuals as they browse across the web, nor will we use them in our products. We remain committed to preserving a vibrant and open ecosystem where people can access a broad range of ad-supported content with confidence that their privacy and choices are respected.

So, what does this mean? Essentially, Google is doubling down on its Privacy Sandbox solution in the interests of putting privacy first for consumers and at Audiencerate, we welcome this stance. 

Audiencerate’s View – Privacy Must Come First

Unlike traditional players, we have been able to guarantee full privacy compliance from day one and we are TRUSTe verified, proving how important global compliance is to us as a company, particularly GDPR, CCPA and TCF 2.0. Therefore, in our minds, any development that helps move the industry towards a privacy-complaint and consent-driven world can only be a good thing.

What’s Going to Change?

Nevertheless, we shouldn’t be so naive to think this move won’t have some broader effects on the rest of the industry. Let’s be clear, Google will likely continue to leverage first party data signals through login information, as well as signals it receives from the browser, but it seems that rather than focusing on the single individual, it will create cohorts of users –  what the actual definition of cohort is still needs to be defined. 

Additionally, Google will continue enabling publishers to expose different identifiers to advertisers if they have permission to do so. Google is actually a fairly large publisher – it has a Search engine, Gmail, and various other subsidiaries including the likes of  Fitbit and home automation apps such as Nest. As a multi-discipline conglomerate, this could give them an advantage in terms of access to personal information versus the competition. It’s likely that Google will still be able to create user profiles using data from its own systems pegged to its own login data, but how it creates or exposes it is still to be confirmed. If Google remains true to its word then it shouldn’t do it, but at this stage, it hasn’t been made clear.

How Else Will the Industry Be Affected?

It’s worth noting that other DSPs, such as the Trade Desk, Adform, Adobe & Xandr, do not appear to be following Google’s example, so targeting on an individual level will still be possible in other platforms.

As it is today, we believe that the process and methods of tracking across different domains and apps will change, and will be more focused on first party data or a mixture of user groups and overall context or sentiment. It’s definitely going to be a learning curve for the industry, but we’re sure that this will evolve quickly with sophisticated methodologies – after all, advertisers still want to measure the success of their campaigns and target prospects. It’s also worth remembering this isn’t the first announcement on third-party cookies that we’ve seen from Google. For the past year, the entire industry has been working on privacy-compliant solutions that will still fulfil the needs of their advertiser clients. Technically the new solutions are now available and it’s the responsibility of all actors to be proactive and start testing in order to be ready for the near future. 

Audiencerate is no different and we have already started to work with different players in order to support one or multiple solutions in order to continue to grant full interoperability with different actors across the adtech landscape to embrace the open and independent web. As the industry looks to move away from third-party cookies, we too are working in fact to develop a cookieless targeting solution which will enable us to onboard any kind of data, including CTV IDs. 

What’s more, we are a long-term partner of Google and we will be at the forefront helping to support whatever solution will be made available in the new-era of Google DV360.

Should you have any questions on how Google’s privacy announcement will impact your company, please do drop us a line to chat further. 

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