The cookie has been around since the mi-90’s, tracking our movements on the web and returning targeted advertising that benefits us all. But in tech years, 20-year-old technology is like comparing the horse and buggy to a Ferrari. They both get you where you’re going but man, what a difference in the ride.
AdvertisingAge reports that Microsoft and probably all of the big hitters, are working on a cookie replacement. This new tracking element would be privately owned and it would allow companies to track over all types of devices. Right now, cookies only work when you’re browsing the web on a computer. If you switch over to your smartphone or tablet, there’s no connection. Microsoft’s new creation would follow you where ever you go so the clothing store you view on your computer would show up as banner ads on your tablet.
One of the big issues with cookies is the way the information is shared across a group of agencies. If companies like Microsoft and Google develop their own proprietary tracking system, they become the sole owner of the data. They can stop privacy issues by simply keeping that data in house. That would also give them a powerful bargaining chip when it comes to selling advertising.
Privacy and monopoly issues aside, the cookie is crumbling and it has to be replaced. With every passing day, more people are spending more time accessing the web for information and for shopping using a mobile phone, tablet or game console. We have to find a way to connect all of these devices to a single person if we want to deliver relevant advertising.
Will consumers check the yes box to allow a company like Microsoft to track them across all devices? If so, are you okay with giving a single company that much data power in return for more comprehensive stats and relevant targeting? What do you think?