Apple’s newest version of its iPhone operating system requires users to opt in to allowing apps to track their activity across the web, while new functions in Safari and Mail prevent brands from tracking pixels or IP addresses. Google’s Chrome browser likewise won’t support third-party cookies much longer, though the search giant recently pushed its retirement timeline to 2023. “Don’t let that distract you from the larger context of the moment,” urged a trio of Forrester analysts in a recent blog post. “As an industry, we are transitioning away from opaque consumer data collection and usage and toward a choice-driven, transparent, and privacy-friendly future.”
These changes are leading experts to predict a total disruption to advertising. Terms like the “death of cookies” or “cookie apocalypse” abound. “From the brand perspective, the loss of cookies makes them feel they’re losing the ability to target customers,” says Assaf Baciu, Persado Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer. “In the mind of the market, it’s a relatively big loss.”1 Third-party data from cookies have been a part of the consumer web experience since the launch of Netscape in 1994. That source of customer data will soon be gone, however, as Big Tech prepares to permanently retire the cookie.