Ending third-party cookies on the internet is a major development for online privacy. Using cookies by third-party advertisers, marketers, and data brokers has long been contentious. These cookies can track users across websites, building detailed profiles of their behaviour and interests. This information is then sold to advertisers to target ads more effectively. However, this practice raises concerns about user privacy and data security. Here are a few points to consider when thinking about the impact of the end of third-party cookies:
More personalized experiences
The end of third-party cookies means advertisers must find new ways to target users. One approach is to use first-party data, which comes directly from users’ websites. This data can create personalized user experiences, such as tailored product recommendations or content suggestions. These experiences can be more effective than traditional ads, as they are based on the user’s actual behaviour and preferences.
Increased data ownership for users
The end of third-party cookies also means that users will have greater control over their data. With first-party data, users can share as much or as little information as they want. This puts users in the driver’s seat regarding their online privacy. They can decide which sites they trust and which they do not and adjust their privacy settings accordingly.
Changes in advertising
The end of third-party cookies will also significantly impact the advertising industry. Advertisers must find new ways to target users, which may require more investment in first-party data. Some industry experts predict that this shift will lead to increased consolidation in the advertising industry, as larger companies with more resources are better equipped to collect and use first-party data.
More reliance on contextual advertising
With the end of third-party cookies, advertisers will also rely more heavily on contextual advertising. Contextual advertising is based on the website content that a user is visiting rather than their behaviour or interests. This approach is less invasive than targeted advertising, as it does not rely on user data. However, it may be less effective than targeted advertising, as it does not consider the user’s preferences.
Potential for increased use of alternative identifiers
While third-party cookies go away, other tracking and identification forms may become more prevalent. For example, some companies are exploring alternative identifiers like email addresses or device IDs to track users across websites. While these identifiers may be less invasive than cookies, they raise concerns about user privacy and data security.
The end of third-party cookies represents a major shift in how online advertising works. While this shift is largely positive for user privacy, it may also change the online experience. Advertisers must find new ways to target users, and users may have to adjust to a slightly different online landscape. Ultimately, the end of third-party cookies represents an opportunity for users and advertisers to re-evaluate their priorities and find new ways to engage with each other online.