In a few short years, the cookie transformed from the good guy of the Internet that delivered a more seamless experience into the bad guy that observed and reported our every move online. Thanks to various scandals and breaches, consumers have become very aware of the value of their data and some are fighting back, taking various measures to stop the surveillance. Regulations, like GDPR and many others, are helping them by making some data practices illegal. Fines are being levied, some running in hundred of million euros, and will eventually act as a deterrent.

The privacy debate has reached the stage where many are now calling for the eradication of the cookie. The industry has not wasted time to find a way forward. There now are multiple initiatives to balance privacy protection and web-tracking data that is of value to brands and publishers. There are risks of course, as Google estimates that serving less relevant ads in the absence of cookies reduces publishers’ revenues by 52% on average.

Will the solution be log-in data? Will it be Google’s set of open standards for privacy on the web? Whatever the industry adopts, it will be different from what we have today and there will be winners and losers.

In an op-ed published by Arabian Business, Fadi Maktabi, General Manager of Hearts & Science MENA, explains how the cookie’s extinction ushers in a new era in digital marketing. You can read it here.

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