Disappearance of third-party cookies. What is the impact on programmatic?

From 2022, Google announced that it wanted to end the use of third-party cookies on its browser. As a reminder, these are files containing personal data collected from users.

As it stands, this system makes it possible to display advertisements to Internet users according to their interest and in relation to their browsing history. In anticipation of the end of this era, Google is trying to set up solutions like the Privacy Sandbox with the FLoC (Federal Learning of Cohorts) and FLEDGE.


Changes in Google’s environment with data protection

In fact, following this announcement, a study conducted by the American firm showed an increase in searches of + 50% in 2020 on “how to protect your personal data on the web”.

Developments in the sector have highlighted the fact that Google should review its operation and provide better service to give confidence to the platform users. The search engine wants to give back control to Internet users and no longer be a platform that sells their personal data to the highest bidder.

Europe, for its part, launched in 2018 the RGPD (General Data Protection Regulation) for the supervision of the processing and protection of personal data. This new regulation aims to protect the personal data of web users in the European Union. This was the first initiative in relation to the protection of personal data.

On the other side of the Atlantic, California adopted in 2018 the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) as part of the consumer protection on the web. Consumers now have the right to know what data is being collected by the website and to ask for it to be deleted. Companies cannot refuse to delete your data from their database.

The days when everything was possible with your data will soon be over. The various scandals such as Cambridge Analytica or the elections of Donald Trump have accelerated the implementation of regulations. These companies had access to your personal information and redistributed it to their customers. This is why the management of data and the conditions of use of the sector are called into question.


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What are the consequences for programmatic?

In programmatic, this news is important because it directly influences the tactics deployed. For example, targeting website visitors through third-party cookies that identify a person will no longer be possible.

From there, the tools offered by Google will no longer be able to segment users in the same way according to the age, household income or gender. This situation forces the search engine to think about a new way of targeting.


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Likewise, Google had developed a tool that controlled a person’s advertising exposure so that they were not overexposed, thus avoiding the intrusive and irritating side of advertising. From 2022, this rule will no longer be in effect and the risk of a person’s overexposure to an advertisement may increase.

With the disappearance of the third-party cookie, the risk of seeing a decrease in performance is real. Google reassures, however, on this point by promising 95% identical performance. There can be several effects like an increase in CPM (cost per thousand) as well as CPA (cost per acquisition). But then what to do? Google is already developing solutions for 2022.


Solutions developed by Google

To respect user privacy, Google is currently developing the Privacy Sandbox. It is a project that aims to replace third-party cookies by maintaining the effectiveness of advertisements even without them.

As part of the Privacy Sandbox project, Google teams are working on a tool that should still make it possible to track users on Google while respecting data protection standards. This is an interest-based targeting called Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC), it will create similar audiences grouped together as a cohort.

Likewise, FLEDGE is Chrome’s new solution to fight data loss in the face of the end of third-party cookies. This tool should allow advertisers to keep using retargeting ads despite the deletion of cookies.

In short, Google is looking for solutions to help advertisers and publishers in the future. The search engine still has some work to do to find the most harmonious solution for all. In any case, stay tuned for the next Google announcements in 2021 concerning the solution they will find for 2022.


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