On March 3rd 2021, Google announced that they will not replace third-party cookies - blocked by default from 2022 - with UIDs for ad targeting. We sat down and discussed what perspectives this announcement holds for the advertising industry as we look beyond targeting through IDs based
on users' personal information. Read more in our analysis Google Going IDFree?
In very direct wording Google says that UIDs for ad tracking are ethically problematic and could even become illegal very soon. Further, UIDs will not be accepted in Google's products like Google Ads, DV360, and YouTube.
Google's Director of Product Management, Ads Privacy and Trust, David Temkin, stated in the March 3rd blog post Charting a course towards a more privacy-first web that:
"Today, we're making explicit that once third-party cookies are phased out, we will not build alternate identifiers to track individuals as they browse across the web, nor will we use them in our products. [...] People shouldn't have to accept being tracked across the web in order to get the benefits of relevant advertising."
An ID is an ID
Now, we certainly acknowledge that many companies in the advertising industry go a long way to ensure user consent and privacy. But in our opinion, the core idea - IDs based on user’s personal identifiable information - has always seemed like a wrong path.
At IDFree we have always been skeptical of UIDs. To have a persistent and stable ID based on
the user’s personal identifiable information replace the third-party cookie, is an odd choice from a privacy point of view. That is the main reason why we have developed idfree.com.
Alternatives to UID
Google and Apple follow the same road to increased data privacy, and both corporations are ready with their own solutions for tracking: Apple’s App Tracking Transparency framework, and Google's privacy sandbox and the upcoming Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC).
Solely relying on solutions from Apple and Google though is dangerous for the independence, competition, and creativity in the advertising industry.
More options & More ideas
We need more options and more ideas! Preferably solutions and ideas that work across all the different advertising channels, and ideas that do not rely on collecting and storing users' private data or browser history.
Read more in our analysis Google Going IDFree?
IDFree audiences are currently available in Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, the United Kingdom and
the United States for digital campaign activation on display, video and social channels including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Snapchat.