iOS 17, the Privacy Sandbox: The Cookieless Future Is Here

Sep 26, 2023
Sep 26, 2023
2 mins
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iOS 17, the Privacy Sandbox: The Cookieless Future Is Here

The clouds are gathering as Apple announces another privacy update (iOS17) and Google is about to remove third-party cookies. How can you save your tracking?

The warning signs have been out there for quite some time, but with Apple and Google’s upcoming privacy changes, it has become more evident than ever: third-party user-centric measurement is becoming less reliable.

What does this mean for you?

If you run ads on Google, Meta (Facebook and Instagram), TikTok, Twitter (now X), Pinterest, or LinkedIn, or even if you only use email marketing, your ability to measure your campaigns’ results and target your audience is about to take another hit (remember iOS14?).

What exactly is going to happen?

Apple announced that as part of the iOS17 update, it will further fortify its Safari Private Browsing with protection against advanced tracking and fingerprinting techniques that advertisers utilize to identify users and monitor their activity.

Furthermore, Apple will remove all kinds of click identifiers (like gclid and fbclid) used to track user activity from emails, messages, and Safari Private Browsing. These click IDs are Google and Meta's primary means of identifying users who clicked on ads and then carried out a desired action as a result (AKA conversion: add to cart, purchase, etc.).

Google is also joining the party, and after postponing its implementation twice in the past couple of years, it has announced it’ll be removing third-party cookies for 1% of Chrome’s users worldwide in Q1, 2024. Google expects to begin beta testing during Q4 2023 using an opt-in testing mode, while the goal is to deprecate third-party cookies entirely by the end of 2024.

third-party cookies meme

Why is this bad for you?

All Pixels, click IDs (such as Google's gclid and Meta's fbclid), and any other method that allows you to automatically send data back to Google or Meta, which help measure your ad performance, might be affected by these changes. If you, like most advertisers, use Google Analytics 4 or the Meta Ads Manager to understand the impact of your marketing efforts, this will become harder.

The data you will see in GA4 or the Ads Manager might become partial and unreliable. This means you won’t be able to tell which campaigns and ads are worth your budget. Moreover, you will have a hard time creating efficient audiences (such as retargeting audiences and lookalikes for acquisition).

data-loss meme

Okay, you got it. Now what do you do?

If you want to have reliable marketing data, first-party tracking is now more important than ever. First-party data is owned by you, meaning it is less dependent on third parties such as browsers and advertising platforms (such as Google and Meta).

First-party tracking, which includes data stored on your server and in your CRM, is less susceptible to privacy policy changes you have no control over, which makes it a future-proof way to maintain the integrity of your data and keep your marketing profitable.

Madgicx Cloud Tracking is a service we created for you to ensure you’re ready for the cookieless future (or shall I say, present?). Our team of tracking experts will set up a first-party tracking system for you in 2 days, and the best part is that you can try it for 14 days free of charge!

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Sep 26, 2023
Sep 26, 2023
Yuval Yaary

Yuval is the Head of Content at Madgicx. He is in charge of the Madgicx blog, the company's SEO strategy, and all its textual content.

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