Data sensitivity in response to cookie off

With the deactivation of third-party cookies, the era of data sharing comes to an end. Therefore, now is the time to focus on the trustworthy handling of customer data.

“Our site uses cookies to offer you an optimal surfing experience – accept everything or manage settings?” Consent banners of this non-transparent and user-unfriendly kind are the last twitches of an age that is drawing to a close. It seems as if the mega-companies of the advertising industry are despite repeated delay still not ready for cookie-off. Instead of those of consumers extremely unpopular cookies to ban them, attempts are being made to keep the third-party cookies alive with functionally similar alternatives. The advertising industry is thus wasting a great opportunity, because if we finally overcome the era of third party cookies and data sharing and enter a new age of data sensitivity, then all actors in the advertising ecosystem will benefit.

The end of data sharing

In the Wild West, the same rules did not apply to everyone; instead, the law of the fittest applied. And even if this time is glorified in numerous film productions, no one seriously mourns its loss today. Although there are no duels in the Walled Gardens, the rules are different than those outside these closed systems – and here, too, the:the strongest seems to have the edge. At the same time, it seems there as if the only functional equivalent to the third party cookie is to continue collecting data in the Wild West manner. However, unequal rules for advertisers and customer data shared with third parties mean that both companies and customers are on the losing side. The only beneficiaries of this Wild West era are the industry’s digital mega-corporations.

It is therefore time for the advertising market to leave the era of data sharing behind. This end has been certain for a long time with the final cookie-off, and is also being driven further by consumers: 63 percent of Germans are annoyed by cookie information and every third person would like an alternative, shows a survey by GMX and WEB.DE. At the same time, consumers are becoming more and more aware of their digital rights and demanding them. According to the same survey, almost a third of Germans have exercised the rights of data subjects laid down in the GDPR. For example, you have requested the deletion of personal data or information about stored data.

Complaints from NGOs like noyb, which are dedicated to enforcing data protection, put additional pressure on companies to protect the privacy of their customers. but when not even Meta knows what happens to customer datahow should consumers then assess what their data is used for?

The beginning of data sensitivity

Publishers, online retailers and advertisers are challenged to herald the age of data sensitivity, because everyone involved in the advertising ecosystem will benefit from a new data reality. By taking data protection measures and communicating this externally, companies can increase the trust of their customers. The protection of customer data thus becomes a competitive advantage. If companies do not openly share their data with third parties, but instead rely on encrypted data partnerships, then they receive the commercial value of the data made available to them, and consumers benefit by reducing the risk of their personal data being misused.

But what can the new data reality look like? The industry must work together to prevent all advertising spend from ending up in GAMA’s walled gardens. The players in the advertising ecosystem have recognized this and are consequently working on a common solution for the open internet. It is currently unclear what this solution will look like. However, this is not a license not to herald the age of data sensitivity, because the use of first-party data already offers opportunities to make the customer experience of the target groups personalized and relevant without switching to third-party data have to.

In the post-cookie age, first-party data is one of a company’s most valuable assets, but apart from personal customer information, this data only tells about interactions with one’s own brand. This puts companies in a dilemma: In order to be able to understand the customer journey without third-party cookies and to continue to reach consumers with user-relevant ads, they are forced to work with other advertisers.

In the age of data sensitivity, this cooperation must be technologically designed in such a way that the protection of privacy and the preservation of the value of first-party data are paramount. Data collaborations, where no data is moved or shared, are therefore a crucial part of this new era. Even in the post-cookie age, they enable consumers to be addressed in a targeted manner, while advertisers protect their customers’ personal data at the same time. This in turn gives them the chance to win back the trust of consumers, which they lost with the use of non-transparent cookie banners and numerous data leaks. Advertisers shouldn’t cling to data sharing and try to recycle an outdated technology with a simple cookie replacement. Instead, they must embrace the opportunities that data partnerships bring and leave the Wild West behind.

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