What You Need To Know About Google’s Privacy Updates
Keeping your business and your customers informed
Ever since the Cambridge Analytica Scandal user privacy has been a high priority for companies and individuals alike. People are thinking a lot more about where the data they give so freely is going. Someone can easily hand out their email, birthday, credit card number, and location when shopping online, interacting on social media, or even just performing a general search. This information is valuable, and users want to make sure that their data is safe and isn’t being taken advantage of. Google is starting to roll out more features that focus on protecting user privacy. The biggest one? Phasing out third-party cookies.
Cookies are bits of code that track information as a user interacts with a website. The information the cookies gather is then used by companies to re-target users with relevant advertising in order to achieve higher conversions. By phasing out third-party cookies, Google will be limiting the number of groups collecting user information on Chrome. Eventually Google will be the only group storing user data, allowing them to prioritize privacy and keep information safe. Companies looking to monitor user activity on their sites will use Google Analytics and other Google-based platforms moving forward.
User privacy is extremely important and we think it’s great that Google is working to keep user information safe. What will be interesting to see is what happens next. If Google is the only entity with access to user data, it holds a lot of power without a system of checks and balances. While one wants to hope for the best and assume they won’t exploit this position, it’s hard to predict what might happen behind closed doors. This article from SEJ does a great job going into more detail about the control Google has over paid search as well as user data.
So what does this mean for my company?
If you are already using Google Analytics to analyze your customer data and other metrics, you’re good to go! While Google will likely be rolling out some updates and additional platforms that you’ll have to learn, you shouldn’t need to worry about losing customer information.
If your website does use third-party cookies, you may start to see changes to the information that you can access for website visitors who are using Chrome. Additionally, users likely won’t be able to fully access
your website. Don’t panic – this can be easily fixed. People can specify if they want to block third-party cookies in their browser settings. If they change their settings to allow for cookies, you should be able to receive your standard data and customers will have full access to your site.
Allowing For Third-Party Cookies
Here is a step-by-step guide you can share with your customers if they need to update their settings to fully interact with your site:
From the browser, click the three dots in the upper right-hand corner. Then click settings
Click into “Privacy and Security”
Then click “Cookies and other site data”
Make sure that “Block third-party cookies” is not selected
Your users should then be able to fully interact with your website, and you will be able to see your user data.
As Google moves forward with these privacy updates, we are sure that there will be more things to keep up with. If you have any questions about Google’s privacy updates feel free to contact us. Looking for more information about these updates? Check out the articles linked below.