Under the gun from lawmakers and lawsuits, Google’s™ web privacy efforts have made it harder for advertisers, publishers, and data brokers to gather personal data without users’ permission. Google™ will no longer be making data profiles based on users’ activity on Google™, and while this is great for individuals who seek privacy, for advertisers it’s a blow to the face.
Third-party cookies that are placed on websites are being phased out, including the ability for third-party sites, like Google™, to track activity upon entering and leaving websites. This could potentially hurt advertisers who want to target competitors’ websites and people in the market for products. The silver lining: If you have a Google™ ad tag already installed on your website, Google™ will still be able to gather data from your visitors and retarget them with your ads.
An alternative to a full privacy lockdown was introduced in 2019 by Google™ with the idea of a “privacy sandbox” designed to serve both the privacy concerns of individuals and the need to target user interests for advertisers and publishers. The privacy sandbox is “a secure environment for personalization that also protects user privacy,” said Justin Schuh, a Google™ Chrome engineer. The privacy sandbox is still in progress and has multiple ways it can gather data without accessing the personal details of the user, including a “privacy budget” and Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLOC).
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