Google a subsidiary of Alphabet is one of the greatest company success stories of all time. While the company has diversified into various sectors including self-driving cars, maps, televisions just to name a few. Its advertising business has always been to the financial bloodline of the company.

Google recently announced the concept of a Privacy Sandbox which they would manage. Ad Exchanger recently covered this announcement and the full article can be found here (https://adexchanger.com/privacy/whats-in-googles-privacy-sandbox-nothing-for-now/). The major tag line is Google is planning to phase out 3rd party cookies by 2022. Which puts billions of marketing dollars potentially at risk. At a high level, the Privacy Sandbox would be a collection of web browser-based API versus the cookie code snippets we have today. 

So, here are a few insights:

Google is the major player in digital spend

Google is a major play in the digital spend market. In fact, based on a recent report the company almost controls 40% of the digital ad spending of the marketing by themselves as noted below. With such a controlled hand on the marketing place already it begs the question could Google be creating a monopoly?

Source: https://marketingland.com/almost-70-of-digital-ad-spending-going-to-google-facebook-amazon-says-analyst-firm-262565

Can privacy lead to a monopoly

Google is standing firm that is is not trying to restrict competition rather create a level platform that allows for developers across the globe to participate in the creation of the sandbox and support the creation of the browser API’s.  Which can be found SandBox Github.

Google Sandbox

So, it does seem that Google is making an effort to ensure that across the board fingerprinting is removed and privacy access is equal. But will the fox be able to watch the hen house?  Only time will tell.

Measurement Doomed?

One key area outside of digital advertising they everyone is also concerned about is how will conversion and other traditional tracking be measured. Right now Google is focused on testing and says it has already completed a few tests with clients calling the Google API to receive a specific value to determine conversion event, rather than relying on cookies. It will be interesting to see how historical reporting could be affecting by this completely new methodology.

In summary, it is very early still in this process but a universal standard for tracking and regulatory requirements will help move this initiative or any other forward. We need our legal bodies to act to create a framework that allows for commerce but still protects user privacy. But, everyone can agree, privacy regulations and standards will be shaping how businesses operate in this new decade.