How the cookie crumbles


Photo by Food Photographer Jennifer Pallian on Unsplash


“Everyone who thinks at all has noticed that our language is practically useless for describing anything that goes on inside the brain.”
– George Orwell

Google recently declared that it will “not build alternate identifiers to track individuals as they browse the web” once third-party cookies are phased out.

What does that really mean, in plain language?

I found Vox’s explanation most interesting. Click here to read the whole thing. Some of the highlights in the piece are below:

** So, it’s good for us generally, the great web searching public. “Cookies”, as Vox explains, “are tiny text files that websites you visit place on your browser. If the cookie comes from a domain other than the one you’re visiting, it’s known as a ‘third-party cookie’. Advertisers use these to track you and your interests across the web — which websites you visit, how often you visit them, even your location — allowing them to serve you targeted ads and measure their effectiveness. Websites often have third-party cookies from multiple ad companies. These form the backbone of the digital advertising ecosystem.”

Google’s decision “to build a ‘more private web’” means you and I won’t, from next year, come to the attention of many ad companies.

** That said, Google itself doesn’t lose out very much. It may get a few less ad dollars but, as Vox says, “it also collects a ton of first-party data on internet users through its many services, such as Gmail, Maps, YouTube, Android, Google Home, and even its search bar. This kind of data collection will not be affected by the ban, and, in fact, it could become more valuable as the third-party sources of ad targeting data dry up”.

So that’s how the cookie crumbles.