The following is a post from the APG Team’s summer 2020 intern, Jaad Mohammed.
In January 2020, Google announced that they are going to phasing out support for all third-party cookies within the next two years. This decision comes in response to growing concerns over data privacy, including transparency, choice, and control over how online data is used, which matters greatly in a day and age where a lot of information is digitalized.
What are cookies?
Cookies (also known as internet cookies, http cookies, browser cookies or web cookies) are small text files made by websites and stored accessible to your web browser so that these websites can log in some of your preferences and activities, such as your saved user ID and password, personalized theme settings or the items in a shopping cart of an online store, etc. These cookies are generally known as first-party cookies, in that they are from the website the user is visiting.
However, there is also something called third-party cookies. Third-party cookies are ones from a website other than from the domain a user is visiting. Third-party cookies are a way for marketers to analyze online behavior by tracking our online movements and preferences, enabling them to do things like creating personalized ads. Ever wondered how your mobile started showings ads for new shoes as soon as you looked at new shoes, now you know.
Google’s decision to join its competitors, Safari and Firefox, may soon end third-party cookies. With that in mind, brands will need to start thinking of new alternatives to gain insights about the customers. This is where advertisers can start utilizing web analytics methods, such as personas, to understand their potential customers.
So, it’s not a totally cookieless world, as first-party cookies will still be around!