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It’s official. Google has once again delayed the deprecation of third-party cookies from the world’s most popular browser. This marks the second time the multinational technology juggernaut has stalled the removal of cookies from Chrome. Google says it will now hold off until 2024.

While this news may have elicited a collective sigh of relief for some, it is only delaying the inevitable. Advertisers who do not already have cookieless and ID-less solutions prepared will have to fight to survive the cookiepocalypse. But let’s take a step back, and look at the events that preceded this announcement to examine the history of the cookie and its subsequent downfall. 

Most internet users have been aware of the presence of third-party cookies for a long time. However, early users often found themselves in awe of how their online activity would influence the advertising they were exposed to. Consequently, this fueled the belief that our devices were spying on us and reinforced concerns for user privacy. 

Of course, we now know it is not that simple. Cookies are small files that save browsing information, allow websites to remember devices and browser preferences, and track online activity. 

There are three types of cookies:

  • Persistent cookies: allow websites to store log-in information for the convenience of users. 
  • Session cookies: commonly used on E-commerce sites, allowing items to be saved in the basket after clicking on a new site.
  • Third-party cookies

Third-party cookies differ as their primary purpose is to allow advertisers to re-target users and provide more relevant advertising. This is accomplished thanks to the creation of tracking data on user devices, allowing activity across websites to be monitored. However, in recent years, consumers have expressed their concerns over the privacy implications of third-party cookies and personal data collection and have begun to push back. 

This pushback inevitably resulted in new legislation (GDPR, CCPA, PIPEDA) that changed how companies were allowed to collect and store personal data. Companies could no longer collect data without the user’s explicit consent. Now, they needed to be forthright about how they would process and use consumer data. Additionally, amendments to data protection legislation have dictated that it should be easy for users to do so. 

As soon as power was handed back to the user, most decided to opt out of sharing their personal data.

Apple leads the way

In September 2017, Apple launched its new privacy feature, Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP), coinciding with the release of Safari 12 and iOS 11. This marked the first step a search engine provider had taken to create more transparent and ethical web privacy standards. This decision meant that Safari would block cookies on mobile and desktop by default. Subsequently, advertisers would no longer be able to track users across the web.

An iPhone showing how to block cookies

While the changes to Apple’s privacy policy have been celebrated as a major milestone in the fight for consumer privacy, it has also triggered a slew of problems for advertisers. Those who previously relied on third-party cookies to run behaviourally targeted advertising, analyze campaign performance and measure attribution have been forced to develop new methods to create targeted advertising. 

Many have chosen to cling to old methods and stubbornly fail to adapt to the changing tides. Subsequently, many of the key players from the past will fail as businesses demand that partners provide future-proof advertising solutions. 

That’s so meta: Advertising in 2122

Over the following few years, ITP would go through numerous iterations and put Apple far ahead of the competition. Now, with Google again delaying the removal of third-party cookies from Chrome, they have some serious catching up to do. 

Ogury’s solution

With the universal deprecation of third-party cookies and the industry bracing itself for inevitable challenges, a new path forward is needed; something that combines the relevancy of traditional ID-based targeting with the new demand for consumer privacy. The solution? 

Personified Advertising

Ogury Personified Advertising Engine is a breakthrough advertising technology that offers a privacy-first solution to the changing AdTech landscape. Personified Advertising goes above and beyond other solutions, offering the most complete knowledge of audience interests on the market. It enables brands and agencies to optimize their campaigns with unparalleled audience data at scale. 

Ogury’s Personified technology is powered by four pillars of data which qualify each impression through:

  • Foundational Mobile Journey Data: Until 2021, we collected behavioral/device level data from over 2 billion devices worldwide via Ogury’s fully CCPA and GDPR-compliant SDK on partner publisher apps.
  • Survey responses at scale: We collect millions of consented responses to questions, from sociodemographics to lifestyle attitudes and behaviors. Our survey responses adhere to the highest levels of research standards and are entirely optional and non-incentivized.
  • Bid request data: We listen to over 145 billion ad requests monthly, providing access to data points such as device type, timestamp, location, OS platform, format, and more. We listen to more impressions than those that we fill. Whether or not we fill the impression, we still gather information for that placement, which we store and use for targeting.
  • Contextual & semantic data: we use natural language processing to analyze information from over 1 million websites, and 5 million apps between Android and IOS. We crawl web pages and app store descriptions for keywords, brand mentions, and topics. Then, using this information, we categorize assets and compute similarities, affinities, and differences across web pages and apps.

As a dark cloud of uncertainty moves over the digital advertising industry, the future remains bright for Ogury’s Personified Advertising Engine.

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