Google and Cookies: Crafting Quite Tasty Bait

March 19, 2021

I read “Alphabet: Five Things We Know about Google’s Ad Changes after Cookies.” I approached the write up with some interest. Cookies have been around for a long time. The reason? They allowed a number of interesting functions, including tracking, cross correlation of user actions, and a covert existence.

Now, no more Google cookies.

The write up explains what Google wants keen observers, real journalists, and thumbtypers to know; to wit:

  1. Privacy is really, really important to Google—now. Therefore, the GOOG won’t support third party cookies. Oh, shucks, what about cross site tracking? Yeah, what about it?
  2. Individuals can be targeted. Those with a rifle shot orientation have to provide data to the Google and use the Google software system called “customer match.” Yeah, ad narrowcasting lives.
  3. Google will draw some boundaries about its data leveraging for advertisers. But what about “publishers”? Hey, Google has some special rules. Yeah, a permeable membrane for certain folks.
  4. FLOC makes non-personalized ad targeting possible. I want to write, “You’ve been FLOC’ed” but I shall not. Yeah, FLOC. But you can always try FLEDGE. So “You’ve been FLEDGED” is a possibility.

How’s this work? The write up does not shed any light. Here’s a question for a “real news” outfit to tackle:

How many data points does a disambiguation system require to identify a name, location, and other personal details of a single individual?

Give up. Better not. Oh, the bait, pivoted cookies. Great for catching prospects I think.

Stephen E Arnold, March 19, 2021


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