If you are one of the many people horrified about the privacy-invading nature of the tracking cookie, here’s some solace: It may not have long to live.
“I think it will take five years to kill it,” said Paul Cimino, vice president at ad marketplace Brilig. “At that point, it’ll be like birds chirping and flowers blooming because we’ll find some kind of value proposition that allows consumers to trust us and opt into personalization. I term it, tailor don’t target,” Cimino told AdExchanger.
While you may not be quite sure what an ad tracking cookie is, you’ve probably seen its effects anytime you’ve noticed, say, the same jeans ad popping up on multiple sites. In that situation an ad network placed a tracking cookie in your web browser, which allowed them figure out which sites you went to and how long you stayed there. Then they served you ads.
Yes, it’s a bit scary.
Perhaps surprisingly, Cimino agrees. “At my former company, my peers were the people who created cookies. We didn’t create them for this. It’s a very weak computing mechanism. It’s flawed, invasive, it’s got privacy issues, it’s going to go,” he said.
Let’s just hope whatever mechanism replaces the tracking cookie will care a bit more about our online privacy.