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Data Protection

Healthy Alternatives to Cookies

By April 17, 2023No Comments

Life After Third-Party Cookies

DCA members gathered in San Francisco last week to talk about the future of payments and offers – with deep dives into the potential and present impact of generative AI, the persistent challenge of transactional friction, the possibilities of loyalty-as-a-service and similar offerings, and a discussion of how to gather and use powerful data as third-party cookies decline. The last topic is especially important because it represents a profound shift – third-party cookies have long been a staple of marketers’ efforts to tailor ads and promotions to consumers.

What’s Driving the Conversation?

Necessity will be the mother of adoption, as industry leaders are innovating with alternative sources of consumer preference information, ranging from card transaction data (“the card is the cookie”) to social media data, loyalty program records and more. These approaches must protect and give consumers control over personally identifiable information (PII).

One way businesses can use rich data while protecting PII is with anonymized data that protects individual identities while still providing useful insights into consumer behavior.  Clean rooms are an example of this, providing a controlled environment where data from multiple sources can be aggregated and analyzed while ensuring that PII remains secure and confidential. Another approach is to use techniques like differential privacy and federated learning, which enable organizations to analyze data in aggregate while maintaining the confidentiality of individual records.

Questions DCA Members Are Asking:

  1. How dependent are we on data ultimately sourced from third-party cookies – or other sources that may erode?
  2. Are our competitors dependent on eroding data sources – and are we relatively better or worse-off than them?
  3. Could our data sources be richer and better than they currently are?  Will the innovation to come potentially enrich our business?
  4. How fast do we need to move?
  5. Do we have a data source that could generate new revenue streams for us, as other sources of data evaporate?

Related DCA Resources