If you have kids of a certain age, you’ve likely encountered the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, where you learn that a mouse wanting a cookie never stops at the receipt of a cookie. Like any of us, the mouse always wants more.
That concern extends to digital cookies, and many are asking what kinds of additional demands come with cookies.
What’s a cookie, anyway? If you’ve visited a site and have been asked to acknowledge and agree to a company’s cookie use, you may have felt a vague discomfort. The initial feeling likely faded to disinterestedness as you encountered cookie agreements at site after site.
A cookie is a piece of text that a company stores on your hard drive. The website is storing information that it comes back to collect later. It’s used to help the company remember your browsing behaviors on their website so that they can offer you a personalized experience.
In Europe, activities are more regulated than in the United States, where cookies have free rein to track your behaviors throughout the Internet. With Apple and Facebook loudly discussing privacy issues in the spotlight of the media and Google adding to the buzz by eliminating third-party cookies, cookie regulation is a frequent topic.
Are Cookies Doomed?
Google has developed a new solution for cookie-free marketing with a browser extension they are calling Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC).
FLoC, rather than tying browsing behavior information to an individual, ties it to members of a cohort. In a cookie, each user receives a unique text identification, whereas with FLoC, the effect is the providing of information on a person in a crowd. No information is tied directly to a user, so a malicious hacker is unable to access personal information, such as a bank account number or medical records.
Google’s FLoC browser extension creates a solution for tracking customers that is much safer, but it does raise some questions for third-party users that are wondering how to interact with the technology and pursue a cookie-free marketing strategy.
At DirectMail.io, we know that the discussions around Apple’s new privacy practices are making marketers a bit unsteady. After perfecting customization and prioritizing personal experiences, a world without cookies seems a bit impersonal and bland. Through technologies like FLoC, there is a path forward. Watch a quick video discussing the strategy we're using for companies right now to help them track and remarket to customers here.