Why not? The cookie is a relic from the past, an invasion of privacy that can track what website pages you visit and while far more innocuous than Adobe’s Flash platform, looks like it might be heading for the trash heap of internet waste.
Over 60% of marketers believe they will no longer need to rely on tracking cookies, a 20-year-old desktop-based technology, for the majority of their digital marketing within the next two years
Whoa. Let’s reign in the horse for a minute and examine the thinking behind “Lies, damned lies, and statistics.” In the case of the dying cookie, a survey of a limited number of online marketers says they won’t need to rely on cookies for tracking purposes at some point in the future.
Why not? I can think of a few reasons. First, they– the marketers and trackers responsible for a glut of cookies and cross site stalking– already have as much personal information about each of us as they need. Or, they have something better than cookies.
What’s better than cookies? More data.
Advertising and web-based services that were cookie-dependent are slowly being phased out of our mobile-first world, where more personalized data targeting is done without using cookies.
That does not mean cookies are going away despite Apple’s efforts in Safari to give users the options to control cookies. These are tools that are in our hands today; tools that advertisers and stalkers like Google, Amazon, and others do not like.
Apple’s Safari web browser Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) and Europe’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), are banning cookie tracking of user data.
Banning seems so harsh, but it’s the wave of the future. About 30-percent of all visitors to NoodleMac have ad blockers so the cookie is next, right? Oh, and by the way, NoodleMac.com does not use a cookie. No tracking here, folks. Not even analytics tracking.
The trend for tracking is toward mobile devices which use more applications than desktop Macs or Windows PCs use browsers to visit websites. So, cookies cannot capture as much information as they used to, and what they captured was from a browser and an IP address, not from a specific person.
Make no mistake here. Advertisers and marketers want information about you. Yes, you personally. The browser does not tell a cookie who you are. The trend was moving in the no-cookie direction long before Apple spurned its cross site tracking capabilities with Safari last year.
Now that people are so connected to the internet everywhere in life (Fitbits, smart homes, etc.), browser targeting doesn’t translate well to mapping individual data, which is where marketing is heading. (Over 40% of marketers say cookie-based targeting lacks a persistent user identity.)
In other words, cookies are not as valuable as they once were. So be it. Flash is not as valuable as it once was but its death started at the feet of Steve Jobs. Cookies are on the way out; maybe not thanks to Apple alone, but good riddance nonetheless.
Unlike Flash– memorialized in Jobs’ missive Thoughts on Flash before his death– Apple isn’t directly complicit in the death of the cookie, but more controls in Safari help to push it along.
Goodbye, cookie. We hardly knew ye.