Candidly I am confused. Back in June I posted “Technobabble”, exactly how the hi-tech titans were concerned minimal privacy features would adversely impact advertising revenue one of their driving engines. Now it appears, they are all going to change the digital advertising ecosystem and reconsider their approach.
I have been a long-time advocate it is time to reel in and regulate high tech. Thanks to tracking technologies like “cookies” and their stockpile of personal data, hi-tech has fueled a $350 billion digital advertising industry. Now the Big Three – Apple, Google and Facebook are changing the rules where personal information will no longer be the digital marketing currency. They are promoting the future of a privacy conscious web. What prompted their revamping of digital privacy? For starters European regulators in 2018 in response to Facebook’s Cambridge Analytics scandal, followed by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission in 2019 levying record fines on Google and Facebook.
Hi-tech’s privacy shift will result in online advertising morphing. When I cut through all the technobabble I have read, my interpretation is as long as consumers use the internet to buy goods, marketers will adapt to the changes in tracking technologies. In addition, there is the potential they will make more money in the process. One example being tested by Google is FLOC, the Federated Learning of Cohorts. People will be grouped together based on their mutual interests. Case in point If you had previously searched the web for wine, travel and pet supplies, you would be placed in a coded group where when you search a website, as it loads, your group’s identification code will determine the type of ads to show your group. Is this less invasive than “cookies” tracking your browser history? Technobabble, especially when marketers begin utilizing AI to better determine buying patterns. Consequently, long-term targeting costs will increase, especially since Apple’s products will provide consumers the option to block online ads. Note: Since Apple introduced its pop-up window on its premium priced iPhones, more than 80 percent of its users worldwide opted out of tracking. Sounds like Apple will have an opportunity to increase their iPhone sales if consumers want more privacy. Facebook is trying new ways to target people without allowing personal data to be shared with third parties. However, the company is currently trying to find its bearings and recover after “The Facebook Files” published by the WSJ exposed their policy flaws forcing them to improve their self-regulation of user engagement.
How will privacy protection of data impact overall online advertising? Smaller brands will be forced to spend more when choosing other platforms (e.g., Pinterest) to advertise forcing some businesses to raise their prices or charge app subscription fees to offset declines in their sales. Sound confusing? Like I stated above, more privacy technobabble.