The end of cookies comes into sight, and regulators crack down on data transfers

As 2023 nears its half-way point, the digital advertising industry is busier than ever. In case you missed them, here’s a few of the stories making the trade headlines this month. 

What we have for you today: Google starts the countdown on cookie deprecation, data transfers come under the regulatory microscope, and marketers cut back on martech spending. 

A farewell to cookies 

First up is the very welcome news that Google has published its timetable for withdrawing third-party tracking cookies from Chrome next year. Q1 will see cookies disabled for 1% of Chrome users to iron out any unforeseen issues. The company will then launch an updated version of Chrome in July, finally completing the task it set itself three years ago. Advertisers and publishers now have a small window of opportunity to ensure they have effective alternatives for personalised programmatic advertising at scale.

Complying with data transfer rules

On 25th May, GDPR turned five. Having already transformed digital marketing, the regulation continues to have a massive impact on the industry. One area currently in focus is data transfers between EU countries and external jurisdictions. Meta has just been fined €1.2bn for mishandling people’s data when transferring it between Europe and the United States. Meanwhile, the EU’s lead privacy regulator is coming under pressure to investigate Tik Tok’s data transfers between the EU and China.  

Given the increased regulatory scrutiny in this area, telcos, publishers, and advertisers should pay close attention to developments and look for adtech solutions that ensure data remains within its native domain.   

The minimalist approach to data sharing 

Tied to this challenge is that even when sharing data within a single jurisdiction, advertisers and publishers must ensure that only the bare minimum of data is used. This issue has been highlighted in a new advertising campaign from Apple, but it is one that is coming up again and again in the debate around privacy first digital advertising. Advertisers need to start factoring this principle into their adtech strategies. Whereas Apple’s solution ensures the bare minimum of data transfer within the Apple domain, advertisers should consider solutions that do this within the context of specific recipients (i.e., consented data should not be distributed across the wider adtech ecosystem). 

Telco adtech 

As advertisers respond to these and other challenges, they have more options than ever to help them. This month, Utiq, a new European privacy-led digital consent service, announced it is partnering with Adform. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: this is great news as it justifies what we have been saying all along: that telcos have a significant role to play in providing privacy-first identity services for digital marketing. We wish Utiq well as they get up and running. In the meantime, Novatiq’s own solution is up and running, already deployed with operators worldwide and available for telcos to roll out immediately.  

AI must comply 

Returning to a story we covered in last month’s Spotlight; the Italian data protection authority has cleared ChatGPT for use in Italy. This is because ChatGPT’s privacy policy is now accessible to users before they register and there is a new tool to verify users’ ages. In our opinion, this is just the opening salvo in what we believe will be an ongoing battle between generative AI apps and the regulators. Given that these types of AI draw on data from across the entire internet, it’s more than likely that some of this data will be unconsented. Indeed, it’s worth asking the question as to whether it’s even possible to meaningfully implement consent mechanisms for generative AI. Watch this space.  

Spending priorities  

IAB Europe has just released figures showing that digital advertising spend in Europe increased by 9.8% in 2022 to achieve a market value of €86bn. While it’s great to see the industry doing so well, other areas of the marketing mix may be losing out. A new survey by Gartner shows that 75% of CMOs feel under pressure to cut their technology spending and 71% of CMOs believe they lack the budget to successfully execute this year’s strategies. Clearly, marketers need to ensure that every marketing dollar spent is spent well. When it comes to digital advertising that means ensuring that content gets to the right people at the right time, and for that you need to invest in the right adtech systems. With record amounts being spent on advertising, it is more important than ever that marketers ensure they have the tech stack to guarantee ROI.  

More from Novatiq 

As you read this, we will be taking part in Telecoms World Middle East, and we will report back on any big news from the event next month. In the meantime, check out latest blogs: Digital marketing in the Middle East: Challenges & innovations, and digital ad fraud statistics that every brand should know. Enjoy the read, and we’ll catch up again in June.  

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