The Google Privacy Sandbox update, which was planned for early 2022, will be delayed by at least 2 years. That is good news for the advertisers at the search engine giant, because it gives breathing room. There is time to set everything up correctly and take the first steps towards a completely ‘cookieless’ future with first-party data en privacy first.
What was that again? Google announced this spring (almost at the same time as Apple) that third-party cookies would end. Fortunately, a ‘solution’ was immediately presented; the Google Privacy Sandbox.
What is the Privacy Sandbox?
The Google Privacy Sandbox is Google’s solution for tracking and serving personalized ads without tracking cookies. They do this on the basis of the FLoC API (Federated Learning of Cohorts). In layman’s terms: Google Chrome wants to label its users based on interest. Also known as ‘cohorts’. Example: if you, as a Chrome user, visit many websites about electric driving, you will end up in the cohort about ‘electric driving’.
For many, this update came faster than expected. The measurability of results would become more difficult. There was no time to dry our tears, because marketers had to – head over heels – look for alternative solutions. We set to work to prepare ourselves, and our customers, for the disappointing results.
Why was the Google Privacy Sandbox update delayed? #NOFLOC
In the new situation, Google wants to keep the collected user data locally in their system. Many market authorities and major advertisers call it a ‘terrible idea‘ on ‘a step in the wrong direction‘. It would not help privacy but rather be harmful. For example, the new system can algorithmic bias to have. This means that advertisers with wrong intentions can reach people of religious or ethnic background on a large scale. With all its consequences. And so Google decided to delay their update so that they have more time for testing.
What will be the new schedule for this update?
Phase 1: The first phase will begin in late 2022, when testing is complete and the APIs are launched in Chrome. At that point, publishers and advertisers are given time to migrate. Google plans to give advertisers 9 months to make the switch and will monitor the switch and feedback during this time before moving forward.
Phase 2: The second phase will begin in mid-2023. From then on, Chrome will gradually phase out support for third-party cookies over a three-month period. By the end of 2023, the third-party cookies should really be gone.
Why is this a good development for advertisers on Google?
1. So has Google more time to come up with a good alternative for tracking and reporting results.
Or in the words of Vinay Goel, Google Chrome’s Director of Privacy Engineering: “We must take time to evaluate the new technologies, gather feedback and iterate to ensure they meet our goals for both privacy and performance,”
2. Advertisers have more time to set up or test first-party data mechanisms with other ‘cookieless’ alternatives. This will make the transition to completely ‘third-party cookie-free’ in the Google Privacy Sandbox easier and will have less impact on small businesses.
What about first-party data?
Actually, third-party and first-party cookies are the same in structure. The major difference between the two is how they are obtained.
- At a first-party cookie gives the user permission on the website that is currently being visited. For example, the cookies from Google Analytics, Hotjar and Hubspot. Sounds good on its own, right? The only drawback is that with these cookies you only know what visitors do on your website. So if you want to reach new customers, you have to get data from people you don’t know; third party.
- A third-party cookie just means a lot of data. It can be put on any website and does not have to be the owner of the website. Think of the Facebook Pixel that monitors the entire surfing behavior of users. These cookies are used for cross-domain tracking and building customer profiles.
Living in the shadow, second party data. Second-party data is first-party data from another company. In other words, selling your visitor and customer data to another party. Nowadays prohibits the GDPR/AVG the ‘sharing’ of personal data with other parties. But what happens in the shadow…
3 ways to technically prepare for Google’s Privacy Sandbox
1. Server-side tagging
With server-side tagging, the user’s first-party data is sent directly to the server and then to the external platforms. In this way, you as an advertiser are always the owner, because you have obtained this data in a privacy-friendly manner. With consent.
2. Use a data management platform
By using a data management platform, all data from different sources is displayed in one dashboard. This way you still know which channels are profitable for your company and you can continue to make the right choices.
3. Using Google Analytics 4
Because the data model of Google Analytics is 4 events-driven, it is more in line with the new privacy and cookie regulations.
Google has given us some extra time by delaying the Privacy Sandbox update. Now is the time to tackle this properly, so that you will not be faced with unexpected surprises later.
Source: Frankwatching by feedproxy.google.com.
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