User and consumer privacy on the internet has been a hot topic for some time now.
It came under the spotlight once again in late October 2021 when the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced its intention to investigate the data practices of Big Tech A-listers, including Amazon, Apple, Alphabet, Google and Facebook.
Statements indicate that the critical aspects of this examination will focus on how digital companies use the private data, which includes financial information, of online users and consumers.
Google and Apple implemented proactive measures to protect user and consumer privacy.
Back in January 2020, Google indicated that it would phase out third-party cookies on Chrome.
Marketing experts stated that third-party cookies track the search inputs of users between different sites and domains and use this information for targeted advertising.
Phasing out of third-party cookies thus meant that advertisers would lose an edge to targeted advertising as they can no longer track consumer searches or search inputs.
This announcement by Google triggered a foreseeable response, and regulators intervened, requesting oversight of the process.
Apple followed suit in 2021.
The tech giant implemented its Application Tracking Transparency (ATT) privacy control, which is embedded in an operating system update for all Apple devices.
ATT requests the permission of users to track their data across different websites or applications for advertising purposes or for sharing this data with data brokers.
The latest ATT statistics indicated that up to 96% of all users in the US prefer not to have their online data and search parameters tracked.
Industry experts believe that these early measures implemented by Google and Apple give them an edge in the tech market.
These beliefs are based on the latest earnings reports released by both Alphabet and Facebook.
Search Engine Land said that these financial announcements “made it abundantly clear that the consumer privacy movement is creating a competitive advantage for Google”.
The news and information site, which mainly reports on search engine marketing and the industry as a whole, emphasised that businesses understand and plan for these privacy controls to stay connected with consumers.
Marketing professionals recommend that digital companies do their homework and stay updated on initiatives such as Google’s use of first-party cookies and Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC).
Using first-party cookies – those cookies directly linked to your domain and site – still allow targeted ads in conjunction with Google on sites such as YouTube and Google Maps.
The success of this approach is evident in the YouTube Q3 2021 revenue of $7.2bn compared to the $5.04bn revenue in 2020.
Google describes FLoC as an open-source programme aiming to assist businesses with targeted advertising.
In a recent blog post, the Big Tech company said that FLoC tests reveal that advertisers can expect a minimum of 95% conversion rate per dollar spent compared to cookie-based advertising.
These changes and new initiatives highlight the importance of flexible content and website administrations.
Experts suggest that digital businesses engage the services of professional web and content specialists to factor in these changes and keep lines open to potential and existing customers.