An understanding concern: if the New York Times records every story I continue reading the website in the last month as a registered user, and uses that to identify what ads it shows me, is that tracking?
— Benedict Evans (@benedictevans) April 28, 2021

“Data-Driven Thinking” is composed by members of the media neighborhood and includes fresh concepts on the digital transformation in media.
Todays column is written by Allison Schiff, managing editor at AdExchanger. Its part of a series of perspectives from AdExchangers editorial team.
Everyone understands the difference in between third-party information and first-party data, right?
First-party information is gathered directly from ones customers, so its good, and third-party data is gathered by companies that dont have a direct relationship with individuals they gather from, that makes it inherently bad.
That might be a little reductive, but its basically how the huge platform and web browser business frame the argument about how to protect consumer privacy online.
And its tough to challenge the sanctity of a direct relationship. Scratch the surface area a little, and the meaning of very first celebration– and what makes up cross-site tracking– starts to get a little fuzzy, at least in terms of how the average customer may specify it.
Due to the fact that no matter whether information is gathered in a third-party context or a first-party context, its still tracking. The concern is what people comprehend and whether the collection is licensed, whatever that implies.
Benedict Evans, an independent tech expert and former partner at Andreessen Horowitz, showed the point by way of a Twitter poll in April, a couple of days after iOS 14.5 was released.

Of the 5,977 people who took the survey, 83.1% responded to “yes” to the question of whether a publisher collecting behavioral data on its own site to utilize for ad targeting counts as tracking.
As Evans wrote on Twitter: “I ask due to the fact that the NY Times does do this, and so does Apple, and Apple is mounting an entire marketing project on the premise this is not tracking. How do people comprehend that word?”
In the reactions, a user with the deal with @pixeldetracking based in Paris (a self-described “ancient de ladtech” or “former ad tech”) refuted Evans that “trying to confuse individuals [about] what tracking truly is only serves the trackers.”
Pixel de Tracking isnt wrong. The advertisement tech environment flourishes on complexity. Simply ask ISBA.
However even if the advertisement tech ecosystem has actually quite much microwaved the fish on high doesnt suggest that web browsers or platforms– the gatekeepers themselves– arent also taken part in cross-site tracking or that their type of tracking is always more tasty to regular individuals searching the web or utilizing an app.
Take the first-party sets proposition in Google Chromes Privacy Sandbox, which intended to allow associated domain owned by the same entity to state themselves as the exact same first party and for that reason still be able to share information between them in the lack of third-party cookies.
What would that change mean in practice? Companies like Gap or Procter & & Gamble, which each own a variety of adjacent brand names, could centralize consumer data. And in theory, Geico, Kraft Heinz, Duracell and the Acme Brick Company could share information, for instance (and for whatever reason), due to the fact that theyre all subsidiaries of Berkshire Hathaway, while their rivals could not, unless they likewise share typical ownership– which doesnt make a lot of sense.
An entity like Google, though, might move information in between its own homes– Maps, Gmail, different Google domains across the world, YouTube, Fitbit, etcetera– while other unaffiliated publishers would have no system to monetize their information through collaborations.
For what its worth, back in April, the first-party sets proposition was deemed “damaging to the web in its current form” by the W3C Technical Architecture Group. (Regardless, the very first origin trials for first-party sets closed in Q3.).
Putting aside the potential anticompetitive issues related to a proposition like first-party sets, its emblematic of gatekeepers taking the reins to specify what it implies to be a first party on their platforms. Which might not associate how the majority of people would specify it.
Josh Koran, EVP of data and privacy at Criteo and an active W3C member, put it to me like this: “For customers concerned about cross-organization data transfers, why would they be any better that Google is the one doing this tracking?”.
In some cases a stogie is just a stogie and tracking is simply … tracking.
Follow Allison Schiff (@OSchiffey) and AdExchanger (@adexchanger) on Twitter.

Pixel de Tracking isnt incorrect. The ad tech environment flourishes on complexity. Just ask ISBA.
What would that change mean in practice? And in theory, Geico, Kraft Heinz, Duracell and the Acme Brick Company could share information, for example (and for whatever reason), because theyre all subsidiaries of Berkshire Hathaway, while their rivals could not, unless they also share typical ownership– which doesnt make a lot of sense.