Page 18 - Adnews Magazine May-June 2021
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Google claims that they aren’t a sustainable long-term invest- ment because they don’t meet consumer privacy expectations or stand up to evolving regula- tory restrictions.
Instead, Google has proposed a handful of alternatives, through its Privacy Sandbox initiative, that will individually do the different jobs of third-party cookies.
“Cookies were fantastic and they served a great purpose with the industry for a long time,” Google APAC head of privacy Jess Martin tells AdNews.
“But because they had so many use-cases, you couldn’t iso- late what you needed them to just do and then we were using them for methods beyond their origi- nal purpose, such as opaque tracking or fingerprinting.
“So now the intention with Sandbox is for the industry to work together and say, ‘Okay, what spe- cific use-cases do we need, and what do we develop to solve for that instead once cookies have been deprecated?”
Within the Privacy Sandbox are proposed solutions for func- tions such as remarketing, fraud detection, measurements, as well as tracking,which will be done through a proposal Google is calling FLoC (Federated Learning Cohorts).
FLoC groups individuals in large cohorts based on a similar browsing history. The users are anonymised so that advertisers will be able to show ads to the cohorts without accessing any data that will lead to the individ- uals being identified.
According to the current pro- posal, a person would be in one cohort at a time which resets every seven days. So while it’s still ad targeted based on users’ online activity, now the data will be kept on users’ devices and only infor- mation about the cohorts will be shared with advertisers.
FLoC is still in the initial test- ing phase on a small number of users in Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Tel Aviv, and New Zealand. Martin says the general number of people in a group would be in the thousands.
“There’s talk about the return of contextual targeting as being one consequence of these changes and people are quite welcoming of that. It’s almost like a return to simpler times,”
Frontier Australia head of digital Paul Freeman-Sanderson.
                         Google claims that advertisers can expect to see at least 95% of the con- versions per dollar spent when compared to cookie-based advertising.
So far, media buyers are confident in Google’s ability to perform and protect user privacy but some still have questions over how transparent Google will be with users.
“There are a number of question marks right now on whether it’s truly privacy-compliant based on what the industry and what the government are trying to do,” says MediaCom’s Collier.
“And from my personal opinion, if we look at the iOS 14 update, it’s to give control back to the users, letting them know what is going to be captured and what data is going to be protected.
“While Google, I’m not sure how much choice users are going to be given. Whether they can choose to opt in or opt out when it comes to their data being used for advertising purposes.”
Martin says that new alternatives within Privacy Sandbox will be giving users more control.
“This is being held at a browser level that is resettable, which means user information is not being shared with advertisers, or publishers, or others,” Martin at Google says.
“So we’re seeing less information being collected and we’re seeing that people can reset and have control over that. When I think about the erosion we’ve seen in user trust, we know that it’s essential to meet

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