New recipes for cookies from digital giants

Flames. Online digital service providers have a tradition of capturing and using the browsing history of consumers on their sites and / or platforms, via cookies and other trackers. These personal browsing data are extremely valuable and powerful for analyzing consumer behavior, because they allow us to know, among other things, their preferences, habits, intentions, etc.

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This behavioral information is at the heart of the economy of intention and that attention to deliver personalized advertisements or recommendations. They represent colossal economic challenges, which have triggered international regulations and trade wars between the giants of online commerce, most often non-European. These personal data, whether behavioral or not, constitute the war chest of the various digital platforms. It’s a positive feedback system: the more personal data you have, the richer you are and the more you can invest in improving your algorithms and computing infrastructure. Aware of this virtuous circle, these actors have multiplied the mechanisms for tracing and collecting personal data to influence the forms of consent – practices known as « dark patterns » or “user traps”.

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Faced with this jungle of abuse of personal data capture, regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation in Europe and the California Data Privacy Law have emerged to allow consumers to control the flow of their data. with more explicit consent and having control over their information. Originally, it was a defensive reaction from Europe which does not have any of the platforms for capturing personal data on the scale of its population.

Upheaval

The race to display the protection of privacy has become a pledge of confidence for the online digital industries, sometimes difficult to execute, so much the impact on the digital economy, based on the tracking of consumers, is strong and upsets its mechanisms.

It remains to be seen whether these changes set digital advertisers back fifteen years or pave the way for more fruitful interactions with consumers.

This is how Google, after announcing the withdrawal of third-party cookies in early 2020, had to postpone this promise until mid-2023. Companies like Apple, less affected by the economy of personal data, have defined new rules including explicit consent for applications on its App Store. So Facebook has to ask permission from users of Apple’s operating system (iOS) to track them.

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New recipes for cookies from digital giants

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