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  • Saanya Amalean

Digital Friday >>> Good bye Ad Cookies

Its time to say good-bye to the advertising cookie as Google and Apple Inc. are taking a drastic step to remove the software marketers ability to track users online activity and cater ads specifically towards them.

The plan has pleased privacy and security advocates, as this decision would radically change how ads are targeted on websites and the ways in which companies mint money.

From the 12th of July, Apple will require all apps running on its devices to ask consumers for permission before tracking their activity on other apps and websites. The company has already made a move to prohibit the use of third-party cookies on its Safari web browser. Apple's change, which has been given the term Apple Tracking Transparency (ATT), will work by sending a prompt to the user asking them to opt in. However, with such a decision comes great financial risk, potentially rendering ad campaigns less effective.

On the other hand, Google is taking a different approach with the invention of a cookie alternative. This feature will still allow marketers to target its desired consumer base, just not through their web history. This new and supposedly improved cookie tool is being justified as a balancing act between privacy and ensuring the survival of web publishing. Essentially, the user's privacy is hidden amongst the masses, and users are grouped together in bundles based on common interests. Advertisers will market to the groups instead of a using an individual's web habits.

The bold move by both companies have solicited mixed reactions. Many smaller web browsers such as Firefox have deemed Google's proposal an inadequate solution over privacy matters.

With Apple, the ATT feature will pose a major threat to Facebook as their core business relies on ad targeting. Others have also frowned upon the decision. Terence Kawaja, CEO of digital media investment bank Luma Partners took to twitter to share his discontent. He posted a black image of Apple's famous logo which read "Forget their privacy hand-waving. They want to be big in ad tech".

Only time will tell how long-term these solutions may be and whether it is truly worth the financial consequences.

Published 9th July 2021 | 3:22 pm

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