Discussion: what if to work without cookies - we tell you what alternatives are

We are talking about cookies free solutions that are used to analyze the actions of visitors and display contextual advertising. We discuss the opinions of experts and the community.

Photo - sheri silver - Unsplash

The influence of regulators

The laws governing the work of companies with personal data are becoming more and more. Last year, GDPR began to operate in Europe. It obliges sites to notify users of cookies being set if they allow one way or another to identify a person.

The European Commission is also preparing an ePrivacy Regulation bill. Its purpose is to protect people from intrusive advertising. The new directive will tighten the rules for handling identifiers and oblige to provide alternative options for working with the service without cookies.

Similar bills appear in the United States. An example would be the CCPA - California Consumer Privacy Act - which will take effect in early 2020. Experts say his cookie policies closely resemble GDPR. A similar picture is unfolding in India - they are working on their Personal Data Protection Bill. These bills make cookies difficult, and many are looking for alternatives. Someone completely abandons the usual methods. Others still find suitable solutions for themselves, taking into account new requirements. We’ll tell you which ones.

MO and behavioral patterns

We went this way to the Washington Post, where we developed our own analytical platform Zeus. She studies what they read and where the audience comes from. The algorithm compares this information with the behavioral patterns that have been compiled in WP for four years, and determines which news or products will interest people.

On the one hand, Zeus gives more freedom in the context of tightening the regulation of the process of identifying users using cookies. However, there is an opinion that Zeus developers will still have to take a number of measures to comply with GDPR. Since the law is primarily aimed at the security of personal data. Cookies are devoted only to a small part of it.

Digital fingerprints

In this case, to identify users, the web resource collects information about installed plugins, software, operating system, hardware, and even fonts on board. Based on these data, a portrait of the site visitor is formed.

This approach is used in their products by a startup from San Francisco - AdStack. The company develops tools for personalizing and targeting marketing letters. However, there is a possibility that the “telemetry” collected for digital fingerprints will be classified as personal data, and this approach will fall under the regulation of GDPR and similar laws.

Browser cache

It makes sense to highlight another version of analytical systems that was actively used several years ago. In it, ETag acted as an identifier. This is the checksum used by the web server to determine if the contents of the displayed page have changed. Each user has this ETag, so he suited the role of a unique ID.

This mechanism used the Hulu streaming service and the KISSmetrics analytical platform. However, they had to abandon such practices. Several users did not like that such identifiers (unlike cookies) cannot be deleted. They considered this a violation and appealed to the court, which stood on their side.

Going back to cookies

Experts expect at least part of the above approaches to gain momentum. For example, the Washington Post plans to ship Zeus as a commercial solution for other news resources through the Arc Publishing site. It has over 750 million unique users worldwide.

This forecast is associated with the activities of browser developers and large IT organizations. They actively promote solutions that prevent the installation of cookies. An example would be the Do Not Track ( DNT ) tool provided by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC). With its help, the browser tells sites whether they are allowed to set cookies or not.

Photo - Christina Branco - Unsplash

A similar mechanism is offered by Mozilla. The company introduced a function in the browser that gives the user the opportunity to choose what personal data to share with the site. Also in early May, Apple updated the Intelligent Tracking Prevention system for Safari - it blocks the installation of unwanted cookies. Similar functions introduces Google .

The surge in popularity of solutions that do not use cookies to display contextual advertising can be expected at the end of this year. It is then that the strict ePrivacy Regulation must come into force.

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Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/462555/

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