The biggest ad network in the market, Google has announced that it will no longer track users using their browser cookies to target ads. Many people might be wondering what other possible ways Google might still be tracking individuals on the web?
But Google also clarified everyone’s concern with a new statement on their Ads & Commerce Page. Google in their own words states –
We continue to get questions about whether Google will join others in the ad tech industry who plan to replace third-party cookies with alternative user-level identifiers. 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.
Tracking individuals’ web activity is not necessarily required in order to achieve results in digital advertising. Google says –
“People shouldn’t have to accept being tracked across the web in order to get the benefits of relevant advertising. And advertisers don’t need to track individual consumers across the web to get the performance benefits of digital advertising.”
Google Dropped Third Party Cookie Support
Google made its intentions clear by dropping support for third-party cookies on its web browser, Chrome. And from there on out, a new streak of questions was aligned asking Google if it is testing out some alternatives to the Cookies.
Although Google can still collect data and track users on the platforms and services which are under Google’s direct control.
What is a Cookie?
Cookies generally store a small amount of information about what a user is doing on the website. Cookie has been a part of the internet since its initial days.
For reference, cookies can store data like whether the user is logged in or not or what stuff does he has added to his shopping cart, etc.
On the other hand, third party cookies can track a user from site to site, so one website can know what kind of products you were actually searching for and then they will show you relevant ads on the other websites you land.
Potential Replacement For Cookie
Google also release details about a Cookie replacement mechanism called FLoC that is being planned to be tested out with Advertisers in Google Ads from the next quarters.
FLoC stands for ‘Federated Learning of Cohorts’. This API is being planned to reside with Chrome Browser as an extension. So instead of individual cookies being collected for individual-level targeting, it will create a group of users based on thousands on thousands of site’s users.
This audience cohort data can be used as a replacement for the Chrome user data currently used for stuff like targeting ads.
The Release of FLoC for Public
The FLoC created cohorts will be available for public testing from March onwards. Meanwhile, advertiser tests beginning in the second quarter.
Google seems to preserve an open web where users can access a variety of ad-supported content while being carefree about their privacy being compromised.