PERSONAL DATA: Google plans to delete third-party cookies and therefore to eliminate ultra-personalized advertising
Regularly criticized for its tracking practices, Google is trying to improve its image by offering a user experience that is more respectful of privacy. This is how the Mountain View firm has just announced that it will no longer develop new tools to individually track Internet users on its platform when third-party cookies have disappeared from its platform.
In January 2020, the web giant had indeed announced that it wanted to delete third-party cookies from its browser, in order to preserve the privacy of its users. For targeted advertising, cookies have a vital role since these small electronic modules allow the identification and tracking of Internet users, essential information for displaying ultra-personalized advertising. This practice has been denounced for years by privacy activists. In response to these criticisms and after the awareness of Internet users on the importance of protecting their private information, Google had given itself two years to remove third-party cookies from its platform.
“If digital advertising does not evolve to respond to people’s growing concerns about their privacy and the way their personal identity is used, we are risking the future of the free and open Web,” said David Temkin, director of Google’s product management for ad privacy and trust, in a blog post.
Targeted by small groups
Targeted advertising remains the main source of income for many sites and companies that sell advertising space on their platform, which is why Google has indicated that it will continue to provide information to them, but in an anonymized manner. Internet users will indeed be “hidden” in the crowd since they will find themselves drowned in groups of people with common interests.
FLoCs (federated learning of cohorts) will thus replace cookies. Segments of hundreds or thousands of users will be formed based on user navigation. Google will test its new audience group-based ad targeting system from the second quarter of 2021.
If Google no longer offers third-party cookies on its platform and therefore the individual monitoring of Internet users, the Web giant forgets to specify that it can always do it itself via all of its services. Google is not only an Internet browser, it is also Maps, Gmail and YouTube and the American giant will always be able to collect information on Internet users through these means.
It should also be noted that players in the advertising technology sector could set up other systems identifying users to replace cookies.