In order to protect the future of advertising, Google has announced that it will preserve privacy and performance announcing their commitment to advancing user privacy.
They are phasing out third-party cookies, identifiers used to track individuals as they browse across the web, and once this is done they will not build alternative identifiers.
At first glance this may not seem such a big deal, but this is the bedrock upon which digital advertising has been built. It's how highly relevant ads are displayed to us, so once this transition has happened, how can digital advertising continue to show relevant, personalised ad targeting?
This is where we move into to realm of descriptive and predictive AI.
Google state in their article that people don't have to be tracked across the web in order to get the benefits of relevant advertising and that advertisers don't need to track individual consumers in order to get the performance benefits that comes with digital advertising.
Advances in aggregation, anonymisation, on-device processing, and other privacy-preserving technologies are a route to moving from individual identifiers to hiding individuals in large crowds of people with common interests, while still showing them relevant and useful ads.
Harnessing the power of AI will not only meet ever-evolving regulatory restrictions, but also propel Google forward as the sheer volume of data their algorithms are training on will yield very smart results indeed.
Advertising has played a major role in making the internet open and accessible to all. But in order for ads to continue to earn that role, ad technology must evolve for a privacy-first world. Ads should work for everyone — publishers, advertisers, and most importantly, consumers.