Why cookies are crumbling
Chances are if you do consent, it’s likely a third-party cookie plug-in is using your online movement to provide accurate ad targeting. The kitchen or T-shirt you viewed days, or even weeks, ago pops back up as an ad.
In January 2020 Google announced they would no longer support these third-party plugins in 2022, subsequently delayed to 2023, to give people more time to migrate away. Does that mean that your activity will no longer be tracked? Far from it, I’m afraid…
Using a very similar algorithm already in place by Facebook, or Netflix’s suggestion of what you might like to watch, means your browsing history and data, plus Google login will now ‘group’ you into cohorts with like-minded people with similar interests. So you may be a small fish in a big cohort sea, but all users within that group will receive that advertising, rather than being individually targeted.
This profiling model isn’t new and has been adopted very successfully by Facebook for a while. As a user, you are unlikely to notice this shift, but this does give even more control to the Google giant. Something to be alarmed about? Only time will tell if profiling people into target groups will improve interest-based Ad targeting for marketing agencies, but unfortunately, many Ad targeting software businesses will be handing over their business revenue to one of the top 5 tech giants.
Google suggests their new AI will provide “at least 95% of the conversions per pound spent when compared to cookie-based advertising”. Something the advertising industry feels very sceptical about, but as an online user, you can expect to browse the web without constant ads and less concern over our data.