In a move with broad potential impact on the ad tech industry, Google says it will embrace its own ad targeting and tracking solution, rejecting other industry efforts to replace the third-party cookie.
The decision by the world's largest internet platform complicates the prospects for alternative solutions, including Unified ID 2.0, an identity solution spearheaded by The Trade Desk. Unified 2.0 has found support from a lengthy list of ad tech players who have signed on, such as LiveRamp, Nielsen and Criteo. On Wednesday, Xandr announced that it would work with almost any of the ad targeting products in development across the industry, including Unified ID 2.0. Unified ID 2.0 uses an anonymized database of user browsing habits created through user sign-ins.
Google says its decision is unrelated to other industry efforts and "aligns with our work within the Privacy Sandbox which we announced in 2020," a Google spokesperson said. "We believe advances in aggregation, anonymization, on-device processing, and other privacy-preserving technologies offer a solution for relevant advertising grounded in protecting user privacy—and we encourage the industry to partner with us in developing and adopting them."
David Temkin, director of product management, ads privacy and trust at Google, added in a statement: “Once third-party cookies are phased out, we will not build alternative identifiers to track individuals as they browse the web, nor will we use them in our products." Temkin said solutions provided by other providers will not meet “rising consumer expectations for privacy, nor will they stand up to rapidly evolving regulatory restrictions, and therefore aren’t a sustainable long-term investment.”