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A World With Less Third-Party Data

How to Manage the Shift in Digital Privacy

Google’s announcement about phasing out support for third-party data cookies left companies across industries shocked and concerned. What does this mean for advertising capabilities? 

Though the timeline for Google to follow through on this plan has been extended (yet again), advertisers need to face this new reality and update strategies to rely less on third-party customer information.

The root of this decision stems from the increasing demands for privacy from consumers. Everyday consumers are becoming savvier about what happens to data collected and shared about them online.

Additionally, new privacy laws are being introduced to protect them. This will not end anytime soon – privacy laws will only become more common and stringent.

How can organizations get ready for a world without third-party data?

First, let’s review what exactly third-party data means.

What is third-party data?

The best way to identify if data is “first-party” or “third-party” is to look at who is collecting the data. If a company collects data about a website visitor via a website form — it’s first-party data.

There’s a direct relationship between the person filling out the form and the company operating the website.

If the information was collected via a third-party app or service, then sold or given to the company, it’s third-party data.

An example of third-party data could be information that was gathered about someone by tracking their online browsing via cookies.

In this situation, the information may be sold to a company that wants to use data to better advertise its products to this person.

There’s no direct relationship between the company using the data and the consumer (and the consumer is likely unaware that their information has been given to that company).

It’s easy to see how a decrease in the amount of third-party data can really impact a brand’s ability to advertise effectively.

If a company can only use information about a consumer that it collects directly, then there’s a much smaller pool of information to work with to create a targeted ad.

An Emphasis on Collection and Consent

In this new reality, organizations are going to focus more heavily on collecting first-party data to inform their advertising efforts and customer acquisition strategies.

To do so, company’s need to ensure proper consent to collect and use said data is given by a customer.

A consent action must take place at the time of data collection — this could happen via checking a box on a form, clicking “accept” in a dialogue box, or something similar.

The main difference in this new reality is that we’ll be moving from a world of implicit consent to explicit consent. With cookies, consent was often given with something passive like a default opt-in.

But now organizations need to focus on gaining explicit consent — clear and contextual opt-in actions that explain to customers how their personal data is collected and used.

TrustArc’s Holistic Approach to Consent

At TrustArc, we’re looking at enhancing our products to help organizations take advantage of this shift in the industry and collect data that is useful and compliant.

Our Consent and Preference Manager tool allows organizations to seamlessly collect and store information about customers and share it with relevant partners in their ecosystem.

The tool stores consent from consumers as it’s collected, and allows our customers to more freely use and store data without worrying about legal ramifications or privacy law concerns.

Ultimately, our Consent and Preference Manager makes the opt-in process more seamless for consumers and our customers alike.

And with a more seamless process, more consumers will opt-in to share their data, which will enhance the data pool you’ll have to work with.

Our view is that the consent experience should be more holistic. Strive to build a trustworthy relationship with consumers, communicate clearly about what information you’re collecting and why.

A strong foundation of trust is essential for a positive brand/consumer experience.

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