Google has just made a big announcement that confirmed the long-awaited speculation that the company will not replace 3rd party cookies with another user-level identifier to track individuals’ behaviors across their products. This announcement comes on the heels of Apple’s earlier announcement rejecting the use of PII identifiers as the alternative to tracking individuals between Apps once the changes to IDFA are made in upcoming iOS releases.
The message is clear. Google and Apple have explicitly stated that using hashed email as an alternative identifier to track individuals is NOT acceptable. Email-based identifiers are simply not a sustainable long-term investment for your digital strategy.
While the reality of change is harsh, it’s also apparent that Google and Apple are committed to addressing digital data privacy with innovation. So what are the innovations and alternatives that will be viable?
In the announcement, Google reiterated the company’s commitment to FLoC. FLoC stands for Federated Learning of Cohorts, which is a mechanism to enable interest-based advertising. FLoC runs within the Chrome browser so it is completely distributed, and there is no individual data being collected and centralized. In a recent proprietary study done by Google, it has shown promising results. However, there are some potential limitations with FLoC.
First, is FLoC’s relatively static categorization of interest. Today’s market demand is for personalization, FLoC is not currently designed to hold or compute all the various combinations of categories from a user purchase path. Secondly, FLoC only works in Chrome, rendering most existing omni-channel strategies useless. And lastly, the clustering algorithm currently employed by FLoC is relatively restrictive. FLoC favors the stateless “bag-of-words” technique commonly utilized in keyword features, whereas modeling purchase behaviors requires more complex and dynamic predictive modeling algorithms.
Luckily, FLoC is not the only option. We have recently published a blog on various new privacy preserving techniques for the digital ecosystem.
With both Google and Apple solely focused on removing any deterministic identifiers, it follows that companies must employ a new strategy that fosters data decentralization that not only protects the consumer privacy, but also the business policies for data usage. In other words, companies have to maintain the entire custodianship of their customer data end-to-end. This is what Google and Apple have been pushing for, and it’s the most viable option for data use in the future. With the outgoing Google and Apple standbys – 3P Cookies and IDFA – it’s simply technically not possible for companies to maintain controls of all customer consent and data without leakages. Thus Google and Apple’s decisions to deprecate these identifiers calls to companies to start employing new data decentralization techniques.
Decentralized data techniques:
- Better protect consumer privacy
- Are more compliant to privacy regulations
- Are more secure
ADARA Data Consortium solutions:
Companies have to be careful not to become less competitive or disintermediated by new entrants that are faster to adapt to the changing data landscape. The ADARA Data Consortium offers a modular approach to safely sharing, linking data elements and building trust with consumers, digital partnerships, and unifying data between business units and borders without ever moving or aggregating personal identifiable data (PII).
Companies also need to make sure they are not paralyzed in a data isolation situation, unable to find the right balance between privacy and the need to personalize the consumers’ experience and journey. What is needed, is a way for safe data sharing, that takes into account data rights management at all times: protecting the consumers’ privacy, but also ensuring that global regulations and business policies are established at the consumer level and followed throughout the data life cycle.
ADARA Privacy Token
ADARA has planned ahead for this disruptive shift in the way data can be collected at the edge, shared and activated upon, while ensuring that privacy is always maintained. Today, with the ADARA Privacy Token, all shared data is pseudonymized, with differential privacy applied and it doesn’t leave the customers’ firewall (DNLF). ADARA’s tokenization solution is purpose built for safe data sharing with a flexible, extensible taxonomy that allows for new business processes for digital marketing or process signals. It also allows for very specific data feeds for data science and analytics teams who need to understand and create delightful, permissioned consumer experiences.
ADARA Privacy Token is not a replacement for 3rd party cookies, nor is it an alternative universal identifier. There is no single universal identifier that is required to power the ADARA Privacy Token. Instead brands and publishers can use all their data such as profile, transaction, and support record data to tokenize and use ADARA’s best in class matching technology to match with external parties. So even as ecosystem policies and privacy regulations constantly change, leveraging ADARA Privacy Token can ensure a privacy protected digital practice without sacrificing business outcomes. #it-just-works