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Google Makes a Big Move in Privacy for Advertising

Posted: in Pulse on the Industry , Paid Digital Advertising

Cookies have been instrumental in digital advertising to identify users and make data tracking and advertising campaigns more accurate. With privacy concerns on the rise, advertising platform providers like Google must seek to evolve and deliver accurate results in a more private environment. The following is the next step as this technology continues to evolve.

From Google:

“Advertising is essential to keeping the web open for everyone, but the web ecosystem is at risk if privacy practices do not keep up with changing expectations. ​People want assurances that their identity and information are safe as they browse the web. That’s why Chrome introduced the Privacy Sandbox and, today, shared progress on their path to eliminate third-party cookies by replacing them with viable privacy-first alternatives, developed alongside ecosystem partners, that will help publishers and advertisers succeed while also protecting people’s privacy as they move across the web.

It might be hard to imagine how advertising on the web could be relevant, and accurately measured, without ​third-party cookies. When the Privacy Sandbox technology for interest-based advertising (FLoC) was first proposed last year, we started with the idea that groups of people with common interests could replace individual identifiers. Today, we're releasing new data showing how this innovation can deliver results nearly as effective as cookie-based approaches.​ Technology advancements such as FLoC, along with similar promising efforts in areas like measurement, fraud protection and anti-fingerprinting, are the future of web advertising — and the Privacy Sandbox will power our web products in a post-third-party cookie world.

Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) proposes a new way for businesses to reach people with relevant content and ads by clustering large groups of people with similar interests. This approach effectively hides individuals “in the crowd” and uses on-device processing to keep a person’s web history private on the browser. 

By creating simulations based on the principles defined in Chrome’s FLoC proposal, Google’s ads teams have tested this privacy-first alternative to third-party cookies. Results indicate that when it comes to generating interest-based audiences, FLoC can provide an effective replacement signal for third-party cookies. Our tests of FLoC to reach in-market and affinity Google Audiences show that advertisers can expect to see at least 95% of the conversions per dollar spent when compared to cookie-based advertising. The specific result depends on the strength of the clustering algorithm that FLoC uses and the type of audience being reached.”

What does this mean for your business?

With Google claiming to deliver both privacy and accuracy, we’ll be closely watching developments of this new technology and the impacts it will have on targeting ability within digital ad campaigns. We believe the FLoC model is the future of advertising and will be using early insight and thorough testing to gauge how to best prepare for this transition.

Source: Building a privacy-first future for web advertising

Jon Bowerman
CTO

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