More and more countries are introducing or tightening online privacy regulations. This is affecting the digital marketing industry, and from the advertisers’ point of view it is a negative development. Major advertising giants like Google and Facebook (Meta) are already trying to mitigate its effects.


Currently, online privacy regulations are overseen by two institutions:

  • GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) for the European Union
  • CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) for the United States

The primary manifestation of the new regulations is to allow users to disable third-party cookies. Failure to allow cookies to be placed in the browser prevents marketing systems from tracking what we do online, and thus creating a behavioral profile of the user. Ads are targeted based on it. Advertisers will be forced to adapt their advertising tools to the tightening regulations while maintaining the marketing effectiveness of these tools.


What do Google and Facebook have to say about it?

Google is gradually expanding what it calls Consent Mode. In other words Google’s marketing tags adjust dynamically to the type of tracking the user has consented to. Google will continue to collect user data and use it in its algorithms. However, this data will be encrypted and transferred to Google’s databases in aggregated and anonymized form. They will not appear in any reports. This will allow for greater user privacy without losing advertising data.


In the latest iOS 14 update, Apple made changes to conversion tracking from marketing tools. It requires apps placed in the App Store that can track users to display a message on devices running iOS 14.5 or later that is compatible with App Tracking Transparency. Previously, each Apple device was equipped with a unique number, known as an advertising identifier (IDFA). It allowed apps and developers to identify what a user was doing in all places on the web. In the new IOS version, Facebook can continue to track user activity, but only in its apps: FB, Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram. If it wants to track him in third-party apps and on the sites he visits, it has to ask his permission by sending a notification before launching.

As a result, ad personalization and performance reporting are severely limited. For now, these changes do not significantly affect users in Europe. This is because the share of iOS mobile devices here is much smaller than that of Android devices. However, the change is significant for advertisers targeting the US market: more than 65% of mobile devices there are Apple devices. In the first few weeks of ATT’s operation, 11-15% of global users agreed to be tracked daily, and by the end of 2021, 46%.


Facebook took out full-page print ads threatening that Apple’s changes would make the Internet no longer free. Sites and blogs will have to introduce subscription fees. Small businesses, which make up the majority of Facebook’s advertisers, are expected, due the changes, to have the most negative impact.

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