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Which-50 Australia: Google’s Update On Identity And Privacy Draws Criticisms And Cynicism

Adele sitting on a panel

Google’s outline last week about its preferred path to what it calls a privacy-first web – basically how it views the world once it stops supporting 3rd party cookies – has drawn criticism and cynicism in some quarters, while others see it simply as confirmation of the search giant’s new way of thinking.

For instance, Gai Le Roy the CEO of the Australian chapter of the Internet Advertising Bureau is in the latter camp. She told Which-50, “The announcement from Google confirms that once Chrome blocks the use of third-party cookies, the only approach Google will enable for the targeting and measurement of digital ads that are not via consensual first-party data [are those]  only to be executed using anonymized audience cohorts via the Privacy Sandbox.

She said this builds on Google’s previous announcements that it will not support third-party cookies in Chrome, and clarifies that it will not look at building an identity alternative itself, nor support other identity solutions.

“First-party relationships with consumers remain intact,” she said.

According to Le Roy, “This announcement along with Apple’s privacy moves means that for digital advertising there will be more fragmented groups of people in terms of targeting and measurement with less glue to understand cross-site activity. We will increasingly see the term “cohort” referenced in the market with the ability to target groups of users based on behaviour rather than addressable individuals”

Adele Wieser, Regional Managing Director, APAC at Index Exchange meanwhile said

“Google’s announcement has a direct effect on every aspect of the advertising ecosystem from vendors, to publishers, and consumers. We know that third-party cookies were imperfect, and the need for creating a new system of advertising that is privacy-centric, consumer-focused, and more effective is more critical than ever to the success of our industry.”

“That’s why we are continuing to collaborate with industry players and find replacements for the third-party cookie that help improve customer privacy protections.”

Publishers need options, Wieser argues – although Google and Facebook’s combined 80 per cent market might suggest otherwise. (That’s our view, not Wieser’s). “Participation and collaboration by independent companies like Index Exchange is crucial, and we believe that there is a future where independent players and publishers can thrive. This is what the open industry at large, should remain focused on.”

Read More at Which-50 Australia

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