The need to know:
- Google announced they will deprecate third-party cookies over the next two years.*
- As much of the adtech industry’s solutions are built on third-party cookies, many are uncertain about the implications for their digital media campaigns and partners.
- Anticipating a world without third-party cookies years ago, Epsilon’s solutions are well-positioned to thrive in the new advertising ecosystem.
On January 14, Google announced that Chrome will phase out third-party cookies in the next two years.* Reasonably, the adtech community is concerned about this shift as many providers rely heavily on third-party cookies to identify individuals and deliver them advertising messages.
Although the announcement is causing a stir in the industry, this—in many ways—is not new news.
Early in 2019, Google announced changes to Chrome regarding the treatment of third-party cookies, including mandates to declare the purpose of the cookie and comply with Chrome’s secure settings.
Google’s initial shift in the treatment of third-party cookies was a bellwether to the industry: Google can and will deprecate third-party cookies on Chrome.
Their announcement follows similar restrictions on other browsers, like Mozilla and Safari, in recent years. Still, with roughly 63% of all web traffic on its browser, Google’s shift is a significant change that the larger adtech community will need to reconcile.
Who benefits the most from this: Google or consumers?
This has huge implications for the adtech industry, which is largely built on third-party cookies.
In a video discussion on Google’s announcement, Forrester analyst Joanna O’Connell said, “The third-party cookie is—for all of its faults—the underlying mechanism by which really the whole digital advertising ecosystem transacts and communicates.”
This move also sets Google apart—and puts them in a powerful position—for the future of digital media as all targeted, personalized ads delivered on Chrome will have to go through Google’s Privacy Sandbox. Forrester’s Fatemeh Khatibloo noted this is designed to protect consumer privacy on the browser, but this also puts Google in control of an awful lot of personal information in its future state.
For many adtech providers, this decision will alter their base solutions and their ability to connect and know individuals—with confidence—across devices and channels.
But at Epsilon, we’re not concerned.
How Epsilon is (and has been) prepared
- With proactive preparation with top supply partners, we’ve built a privacy-centric, individual level, ad ecosystem that does not rely on third-party cookies. Our private exchange is built on a direct integration with publishers—constructed with and for our publisher partners—to improve matching and monetization of a publisher’s ad space. We now have more than 2,000 sites leveraging our technology, which we anticipate expanding to meet the needs of Publicis Groupe.
- This is not new news—we’ve already adapted to similar privacy enhancements from Apple and Mozilla and have come out unfazed. Our identity solution is built with a Privacy by Design approach, which leverages the persistence of our ID to maintain consumer choice over time and aligns to open web standards. Since Safari rolled out a similar initiative a few years back, we’ve seen far less competition in the marketplace for Safari inventory, indicating that our technology works well in a privacy-centric environment without third-party cookies.
- As many start to grapple with the implications for their own products and solutions, we’ve been preparing—and building the appropriate technology—for years. We anticipated these changes all the way back in 2012, when we set the foundation for the private exchange to bring balance back to our publisher partners. With nearly a decade of experience working toward this inevitable industry change, we’re well-positioned to thrive in the new ecosystem, in partnership with publishers and other key industry players.
Although Google’s announcement is a significant change to how the adtech industry has traditionally operated, we see it as a step toward shifting the ecosystem to a more privacy-centric mindset, and we're ready for it.
*Editor's note: In May 20232, Google announced the deprecation will not occur until 2024.