Cookie Changes are Coming to Ad Tech
Last week, Google announced that after they phase out third-party cookies in Chrome next year, they "will not build alternate …
Even before the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect in 2018 with its cookie consent policy, internet users have had unavoidable pop-up messages thrust onto their screens on every page urging them to "accept all" cookies.
Leaving aside for a moment how that has conditioned people to discard their privacy with a single click, the experience is challenging on laptops. On mobile, it can be especially painful with the cookie banner often occupying the majority of the smartphone's screen.
A cookie banner on the Financial Times taking up about half the screen
The answer is simple in theory, but can be difficult depending on how your site works. If you don't collect personal information or allow third parties to collect personal information and you only set essential cookies, you will not need to set a cookie banner.
For most sites, the cookies that trigger the laws and violate user privacy are advertising cookies and website analytics. Until recently these have been difficult to do without. Advertising is a proven business model for high traffic websites and analytics are critical to understanding your site and users. However, the internet has responded to users demand for increased privacy by providing privacy-aware services.
When it comes to analytics, the internet has seen a host of alternatives to industry giant Google Analytics come to market. They include Cloudflare, Fathom, Plausible and more. These either don't set cookies at all or can easily be configured not to.
Finding a solution for internet advertising that doesn't trigger cookie banners or violate user privacy has been a larger challenge. Some ad tech companies are working hard to keep tracking and targeting users without cookies. This may meet the letter of the law, but definitely violates its intent.
This is one of the many reasons we built EthicalAds. Our vision for advertising is that ads can work well without tracking users. Instead of setting advertising cookies and learning from users' browsing history, we focus by advertising only to developers and target ads based on content alone. And this approach works!
If you're tired of seeing a cookie banner on your site, join EthicalAds and ditch those annoying banners!
Thanks to Greg Muscarella for the inspiration and feedback on this post.