#2 - Google's New Privacy-First Approach to Advertising - haha

3 years ago   •   3 min read

By Chris Lubasch

This week was coined by a many articles around Google - namely their announcement to seek the course towards "a more privacy-first web." This also means stop selling ads based on your specific web browsing.

WOW you might think! How can that be real, given that everybody knows that's Google's business model? πŸ’°πŸ’°πŸ’°

Don't be fooled! πŸ’₯

Third-party cookies have empowered the advertising-surveillance world as we know it on the web - I'm glad these small shadowy cookies will vanish.

There's simply no way for Google to ignore this and all the other movements in this space (like from Apple). Hence, Google should better be at the forefront to secure their home turf. And they are! πŸ’―

Google's likely most promising approach is Federated Learning of Cohorts (FloC). Instead of a 1:1 basis, your behavior / browsing behaviour / etc. will be assigned to a Cohort. That's a small and homogenous group of like-minded profiles.

What sounds like an improvement in the beginning, is more a farce to me. While not depending on cookies, it would still preserve the mass surveillance on the web by offering every participating website a: "look this is exactly what I did in the past weeks, so pleased to meet!" πŸ€“

Imagine in the offline world, every restaurant you enter knows entirely what you like to eat and drink at the moment you enter the door. Plus, of course, that information is sold to whoever bids enough.

It would be better to really re-think the way users give their information to other parties based on true value. #privacy-by-design

There are also several privacy drawbacks and misuses that could arise from FloC, such as the ability to misuse the fact that cohorts are theoretically anonymous but still tiny ("few thousand users"). I'll spare you the details πŸ€›

However, this is also problematic because smaller AdTech players will likely try to use this for their advantage, since they'd be pushed out of the market further and further with Google's revamp of the AdTech space.

As a small side note: It would also help Google against Facebook in their advertising battle since Facebook is even more dependent on their intrusive tracking across the web and their social graph.

While many of us earn our money in digital, and that comes with digital advertising, there's a better way than mass-tracking down everyone. Re-think your strategy πŸ’‘

I hope you enjoy this issue of my little newsletter. If you want to help me on my mission, feel free to forward this email to colleagues or friends who also work in data or digital, so that they can learn or benefit as well.

Have a great week and talk soon,


⭐️ My new content arrived

This is where you will find my own Know What's Next content.

Uploaded my second-ever YouTube video this week: Part 2 of the 10 BIG mistakes companies do over and over again when they run data projects.

10 BIG Mistakes in Data Projects (Part 2 of 2)
This is part 2 of my 10 BIG MISTAKES that companies regularly do when they run data projects or analytics initiatives. Those mistakes will usually slow your ...

πŸ’― Top picks from the web

Articles, posts, videos and other picks that have amazed me during the week.

Google’s FLoC Is a Terrible Idea
The third-party cookie is dying, and Google is trying to create its replacement. No one should mourn the death of the cookie as we know it. For more than two decades, the third-party cookie has been the lynchpin in a shadowy, seedy, multi-billion dollar advertising-surveillance industry on the Web..…
The Most Commonly Cited Barriers to Innovation in Large Companies? Internal Politics
Cultural issues are next on the list.

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