How the Changing Online Privacy Landscape Is Affecting Affiliates

Online privacy graffiti

Online privacy is something all of us need to be engaged with. After all, so much of modern life ā€” including work and leisure ā€” is now conducted online, and it makes sense that the data this generates should be protected. 

Online service providers such as Google have fallen under increasing pressure to protect the internet privacy of their users when they browse the web. In response to this, Google has made significant changes to its own privacy policies ā€” specifically those regarding the search engine giant’s proprietary browser, Google Chrome.

Chrome is a major player in the web browser market, with 2.65 billion people around the world using it as their primary browser, more than double the figures from 2014. That translates to a global market share of 63.58%.

For online gambling affiliates, however, Chrome is even more dominant. Chrome is the primary browser for affiliate marketing, thanks to Google’s own affiliate marketing tools and features. In other words, changes made to Google Chrome affect affiliate marketing in a big way.

Removal of Third-Party Cookies from Google Chrome

Soon, Google will be removing third-party cookies from its browsers ā€” joining Safari and Firefox, which have been blocking these cookies since 2013. The change has been moved back from 2022 to 2023, and it follows a ruling from the European Court of Justice in 2019 that requires full user consent before non-essential cookies can be stored. Other bodies and statutes, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), have also backed such moves.

But what does this mean exactly? What is the difference between a first-party and a third-party cookie? Well, a first-party cookie is a cookie that is associated with the website that the user has chosen to visit. For example, first-party cookies may provide product recommendations based on previous purchases whenever you return to an e-commerce site. Usage of this kind of cookie will continue unaffected.

Third-party cookies are deployed by websites other than the one the user is visiting. For instance, a user may visit a news or general interest website and have their behavior tracked and stored by a separate e-commerce provider via third-party cookies. It is this kind of cookie that will be removed.

Readiness for a Changing Online Privacy Landscape

Despite the delay, gambling affiliates will need to be ready for this change, which looks almost certain to take effect. One way to prepare is to diversify marketing approaches by developing and optimizing proprietary websites. This will allow data collection via permitted first-party cookies, providing a far clearer dataset for marketers in the process.

There are also methods that can be deployed to facilitate third-party data collection. Technologies are being developed that avoid the negative aspects of third-party cookies and instead collect data in a way that will be permitted by Google and the Chrome browser, as well as other browsers that block this kind of cookie.

The bottom line is a more innovative approach from affiliate marketers. The old ways of doing things won’t work for too much longer, so proactive and preemptive change is required.

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