María Lucía Villegas
Oct 13, 2021
2 min read.
Recently in one of our Trend of the Month videos, we talked about data privacy and how it is being a priority for most consumers and company’s decision-making. As a collective, we’re experiencing a handful of post-modern fears related to technology, one of which is how easy it is to track or stalk someone on the internet. Add to this the fact that we’re constantly being spied on our phones by manufacturers or third parties looking for any kind of information that will help them increase their sales and customer engagement.
The best case study we could think of was Apple’s brilliantly executed Privacy (That’s iPhone Ad campaign) and how consumers were relieved their fears for a moment there. As always, there were other groups that weren’t so happy about this, especially critics defending marketers, small business owners, and other entities that were clearly affected negatively by the new feature. Now’s the time that Google puts its cards on the table and picks a fight, ¿are they gonna meet their end user’s current needs, or are they going to support other businesses marketing priorities?
Well, here are some of the facts:
In August 2019 Google announced a new initiative called Privacy Sandbox to develop a set of open standards to fundamentally enhance privacy on the web. The initiative encouraged web users to participate in providing feedback and proposing different technologies and features related to this topic. So its purpose was, citing Vinay Goel, to develop a set of open standards to fundamentally enhance privacy on the web, giving people more transparency and greater control over how their data is used.
A few months later, in January 2020, they announced the third-party cookies phase-out on Chrome. Although it’s not the first browser to do this (Safari and Firefox were way ahead of their time), it is the biggest one, having a negative impact on more people since they have 56% of the market. Inability to track data and higher budgets for marketing are some of the concerns that rose by this time.
Now what is actually concerning is that Google’s motives for this cookie phase-out are still unclear since their new policies apply only to third parties, so the question is, are they really concerned about improving privacy for the end-user or are they implementing those policies to force the adoption of Chrome’s first-party cookie? So there it is: the thin line between data privacy and data monopolization.
The answer will only be known with time. For now, what we can do is question these kinds of initiatives from a critical view and demand big tech companies to be more transparent until we can build a web completely decentralized and actually provide the end-user complete control over the way their data is managed and decision over how they want it to be managed.