Google Killing 3rd Party Cookies by 2022 (Apple and Mozilla FireFox Already did)

Tay

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Things are about to get interesting in the affiliate world:

Google says an initial dialogue with the web community has left it confident that a healthy, ad-supported internet is possible without the use of third-party cookies. Google suggests instead that its open source Privacy Sandbox initiative – announced in August of last year – may serve as a better tracking solution that maintains user privacy.

[..]

"Apple killed off support for third-party tracking cookies on its Safari browser in 2017, along with the introduction of its Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) solution – designed to use machine learning to identify and limit third-party tracking.

Mozilla followed suit in June of last year, blocking support for a variety of third-party tracking cookies from its Firefox browser; leaving Google’s Chrome as the only major browser to allow cookie tracking by default.

Though this is still the case for now, Google says it envisages a near future where third-party cookies are rendered obsolete, in favour of more respectful browser tracking solutions.

“Some browsers have reacted to these concerns by blocking third-party cookies, but we believe this has unintended consequences that can negatively impact both users and the web ecosystem,” Schuh writes.

Schuh continues to warn that an outright blocking of third-party cookies on Chrome may incentivise advertisers to explore the use of ‘opaque techniques’ such as ‘fingerprinting’, “which can actually reduce user privacy and control”.

Fingerprinting involves collecting information about a device or machine for the purposes of identification. It can be used to fully or partially identify individual users or devices, and will even work when cookies are toggled off in the browser.

Schuh says Google is working on developing techniques to detect and mitigate covert tracking and workarounds by launching new anti-fingerprinting measures, which are expected to launch later in 2020.

When Apple blocked third-party cookies from Safari in 2017, a group of major players in the advertising and programmatic industry didn’t hesitate to voice their concerns. Advertisers argued that blocking cookies would drive a wedge between brands and their consumers, making advertising more generic and less timely and useful. In addition the advertisers argued that Apple was overriding user choice by imposing its own set of blanket rules in default cookies settings.

Google, being the largest online advertising network in the world, will likely face similar criticisms, despite positioning the death of tracking cookies as a collective move from the online community.

“Our intention is to do this [phase out third-party cookies support] within two years. But we cannot get there alone, and that’s why we need the ecosystem to engage on these proposals,” Schuh asserts.

“We plan to start the first origin trials [for Privacy Sandbox] by the end of this year, starting with conversion measurement and following with personalisation.”

Source: https://www.marketingmag.com.au/news-c/news-google-phase-third-party-cookies/
 
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I heard about Mozilla blocking theirs but I had no idea about the Safari cookie block.

So taking the Amazon affiliate program as an example, does this mean that we're currently not earning any affiliate revenue from people using Safari / Mozilla? (because there's no way to save the cookie)
 

CCarter

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If a consumer clicks through to Amazon.com the amazon.com domains saves an amazon.com domain cookie on the user’s browser. Since you are sending the user with your affiliate ID, everything should be find.

Same scenario we use at SERPWoo. When someone clicks an affiliate link we recognize the affiliate ID and credit that user’s session to the affiliate that brought them in.

It’s these sites using display ADs that place tons of cookies during the waterfall and jump through 800+ http connection that will see impacts IMO.

Actually - wouldn’t Google Analytics be a problem going forward?
 
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Server side tracking should be the norm going forward, as I understand it, and also cross-device tracking, but that will probably take a while, since vendors don't have an interest in it directly.
 

Ryuzaki

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I brought this up a couple years ago when Apple started blocking third party cookies with their Apple Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP). I even said to expect Firefox and Chrome to follow suit. Here we are :(

CCarter and I talked a lot back then and figured that URL parameters would make a come back (like Amazon and SERPWoo use, mentioned above) but on the Chromium Blog they talk about:

Once these approaches have addressed the needs of users, publishers, and advertisers, and we have developed the tools to mitigate workarounds, we plan to phase out support for third-party cookies in Chrome. Our intention is to do this within two years.
What they want is to allow everything to continue as it is now, but eliminate the ability to match individuals to the cookies. But how do you really pull that off? It can be argued that you can't fingerprint a device, match an IP address, store email addresses or names, etc. Anything you collect could be argued that it leads back to an individual identity.

Worst case scenario is all re-targeting is stopped and RPMs drop and then rise again as targeting is done at the website and content level and competition increases again. It's still a huge annoyance.

Some geniuses out there will figure something out that makes the overlords happy, but it'll be a bumpy ride.

All I know is some of these ad networks like Sovrn that's more about collecting and selling data than showing ads are probably quaking in their boots.
 
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You think browser fingerprinting is effective wait till you see the power of behavioural fingerprinting

I'd guess that with a mixture of browser fingerprinting and behavioural fingerprinting you could identify 99% of web users. I know Darpa and Iarpa have spent quite a bit of time and money on this.