The death of third-party cookies

Next year, Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari will all abandon the use of third-party cookies. Propolis Hive Experts Tony Lamb and Robert Norum joined Julia Porter, data protection expert, for a B2B Marketing webinar about what this all means for marketer’s data in the future.

Why are third party cookies disappearing in the first place?

In 2019, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) confirmed that GDPR consent was now required for the placing of cookies and other technologies. This meant that, overnight, lots of websites became non-compliant. In that same year, the ICO launched an investigation into adtech and real-time bidding, but, with Covid-19 at the forefront, interest in cookies faded out.

With the pandemic gradually beginning to end, interest in cookies has swivelled back around in 2021, specifically around the inevitable death of them. One occurrence that led to the death of cookies was back in August 2020, when there was a privacy collective clash action against Salesforce and Oracle. By September, Oracle Data clouds stopped offering third-party data targeting services across Europe. And then finally, the news with Google was the nail in the coffin.

Google is centred around 65% of all browsers globally, so when the company announced they’re no longer supporting third-party cookies by 2022, it was a real game-changer

Julia says: “With the ICO, they’re not definitely going to take anything away from you, but they might make your life a bit difficult. That’s the biggest difference between the ICO’s involvement and the news about Google. Even though this has been coming for years, it’s like the rubber hits the road. It’s like: ‘Oh, gosh, I'm actually going to have to do something different now’.”

What happens if you don’t do anything?

So, the question is: what happens if marketers ignore this, and how will it affect their analytics? Julia explains that marketers are going to lose a lot of data if they choose to ignore the news.

She says: “Well, I think my understanding is that you'll still be able to use Google Analytics on your own sites, but what they're effectively doing is collecting all the data now and going to create these cohorts, which are your audience profiles. Then you can target your advertising against these cohorts so that you, the marketer, no longer get to see who those individuals are. You target cohorts now with new points of view, depending on how you are driving your marketing.”