If you’re involved in marketing or tracking, our Director of Performance put together data marketing trends for 2022 on the topic of browsers, tracking and transparency.
For anyone interested in the restrictions around tracking and privacy, we can’t recommend enough here at Index the Life After GDPR podcast. Since it’s not easy listening but it’s such valuable information, we made a summary of a recent golden podcast.
We’ve included key points and some information that was surprising to us; you will find our takeaways under each area.
Takeaway – New features are actively implemented that go beyond the push for cookies. Even if someone consents, it doesn’t mean that the browser will let you track them.
Safari WebKit Intelligent Tracking Prevention
- Blocks third party cookies (some exceptions Google Analytics, etc.)
- Will let first party cookies but gradually expire the cookies over time
- Hinders efforts to profile vendors between sessions
- If the DNS record for the request is not related to the first party domain, then the cookie is limited to 7 days
- Depending on if the users came from a domain that is known to be tracking, the cookie can be reduced to 24 hours
- These cookie’s are getting reset regularly but they don’t block first party cookies in general
- Uses a machine learning algorithm to identify tracking domains/providers (not disconnect.me list)
- The Safari browser does not block the tracking of Google Analytics by default. Intelligent Tracking Prevention can mark your domain as a potential cross-site tracking domain. This will happen if Safari starts sending requests to google-analytics.com from different unique domains.
- Restricts third party cookies
- Uses disconnect.me as a block source
- Restricts/blocks third party cookies
- Loads the Tracking me list (similar to Firefox) and will prevent tracking from loading (Default)
- Edge has an invisible User score (invisible to the user and the tracker) where it measures interactions with the website. When this score gets above 4.2, all the tracking will work
- The user score decays so if someone doesn’t visit the site for a while, the tracking will break again…
- Edge is assuming that if you interact with the site you will be OK with the tracking
- Uses disconnect.me and possibly another list
- By 2023 they will phase out third party cookies
- Third party cookies already don’t work on any of the other browsers (or are really limited)
- These restrictions have hurt Google less because people are logged into Chrome & other platforms when they’re browsing
Takeaway – recent changes explain why paid is usually under-reporting and direct is often over-reporting. Plus tracking is about to get even more complex as the browser’s cookie window changes.
Facebook Conversion API
- Server side tagging platform that works jointly with the web pixel
- Secondary hit that gets sent to a server endpoint owned by FB that contains the same data as the client side but if gets two hits of the same id, it will ignore the client side and only use the server side hit
- It wants to do this as it knows some browsers will prevent the hits from coming through the browser and then be able to justify (properly attribute) the value of their advertising
- Has all the client side information PLUS any other information you want to send on the server side (additional privacy issues?)
Tracking Information: utm’s, fb_clid, ga_id
- UTMs are generally seen as OK because they identify the campaign (not the person)
- The browser Brave will seek out the parameters and strip them out of the URL. They block all trackers so you don’t get any of this information
- Webkit/Safari has Private Click Measurement, Firefox & FB combined for their private measurement (Aggregate Event Measurement), Google had FloC (killed it) and now is proposing Topics.
- If they stay separate, we would need to track each browser separately
- then the data from each of these browsers would mean different things (if it doesn’t already). i.e. If you have a User who converts on Safari, they converted that week. Someone on Chrome could have converted that month… or longer
Webkit Private Click Measurement
- Time delay with Private Click Measurement 48 to 72 hours. Now the person has to have the browser open during this period or it will wait until the next time they do. Possibly also only send the last 5 events/transactions, to be confirmed.
- So if someone converted a bunch of events, then you may not get that information anyway (even delayed…)
Takeaway – Transparency is evolving quickly, and this will all look different by 2023 and even more different by 2024. If Google’s Apps also implement similar penalties as the iOS’ do not track feature, tracking will be affected furthermore.
Apple App Tracking Transparency
- Need consent prompt before you can start tracking them across websites (this was the FB issue)
- iOS 15.2, you can see all the external domains that are called from apps
- Then Apple can investigate if people are skirting this issue
- FB predicting $10 billion revenue gap from people pulling back from advertising on iOS
- Google Play Store will be implementing their own version of this (less structured but with similar penalties)
- Apple Safari: people who do GEO based tracking and any of the information sent that is identified as tracking, these IP addresses are anonymized
- Private Relay (iCloud Plus): Works like a VPN for IP Addresses as all the traffic is modified (approximate/coarse)
- Using IP addresses is fast becoming a tool that isn’t that valuable
New Privacy Laws
- California, Virginia, Colorado (& maybe Utah) have all introduced new privacy laws
- California now allows people to opt out of sharing data (not just selling)
- The EU and USA need to reach some sort of data transfer deal
- For email marketing, someone can just prevent the forward from their anonymous email address
- Exchanging emails for incentives may no longer be a viable acquisition tactic
With Apple leading the way, this field is changing fast!
Give us some feedback on this format and let us know if there is a trend you’d want us to cover.
For the full podcast: https://lifeaftergdpr.eu/episode-003/
To work with geeks like us, please reach out and we’ll talk about your strategy: https://www.indexwebmarketing.com/en/form