Google Announces shift from precision targeting for ads

On Wednesday, Google announced that it would phase out the use of technologies that track individuals users as they move around the web. The decision signals a significant change for the digital advertising industry.

Previously the company has announced its plans to stop supporting third-party cookies on its Chrome browser by the year 2022. Google has now made it clear that it will not look for alternatives or replacement tools to track user behavior in order to serve targeted ads.

David Temkin, director of product management for adds privacy and trust wrote in a blog post, "Keeping the internet open and accessible for everyone requires all of us to do more to protect privacy - and that means an end to not only third-party cookies but also any technology used for tracking individual people as they browse the web."

Read the full post here: Charting a course towards a more privacy-first web

Google further added that it would implement APIs to prevent tracking at an individual level in order to maintain privacy online. The company will use methods like clustering users into groups and data aggregation in order to increase privacy. Google has been testing these tools in its Privacy Sandbox in order to figure out a way to continue to serve ads online without encroaching on individual privacy.

The company will continue to support targeting users across its services which include YouTube, Gmail, and search. If a user is logged into their Google account, advertisers will be able to serve targeted ads on Google's services.

See also: China's Emotion Recognition Tech Receives Criticism

Currently, Google's ad platform makes use of third-party cookies in order to serve targeted digital ads. Back in January, the company announced that it would eliminate the use of third-party cookies by the year 2022. Google is currently the world's largest digital advertising company in terms of its share of spending. Temkin explains in his posts that tracking methods no longer, "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."

Many of the company's rivals and other members of the advertising ecosystems have been closely monitoring Google's decisions. What Google decides to do will have a huge impact on the digital advertising space as a whole.

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