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8 Alternatives To Tracking Cookies

What happened in these first months with the new privacy and cookie legislation? What are the solutions to collect data without third-party cookies?

59 % of consumers worldwide say they have become more protective of their data.

71 % of countries apply legislation on data protection and privacy.

The management of personal data by companies is of increasing importance. Both to ensure compliance with regulations and have the information necessary to meet customer needs.

Until recently, this aspect was also managed thanks to cookies. The end of their use, however, has opened up new scenarios.

For months now, companies have been adapting to this condition, designing and building models to obtain first-party data. An approach that will last throughout 2022.

Therefore, what can we do to make up for the absence of cookies? Let’s see together some suggestions of the IAPP, the International Association of Privacy Professionals.

What Are Cookies?

These are small strings of code created by servers and sent to users’ browsers or used on websites.

As we all know, their purpose is – or instead was – to collect data. Valuable data to create statistics on the use of the web and help, on the one hand, to profile the public and, on the other hand, to offer a better browsing experience to people.

2022 Regulation On Cookies

The new guidelines , practical from 10 January 2022, provide indications for:

  • Draw up transparent information on consent on websites
  • Correctly acquire consent for data collection.

Consent to cookies must be “informed, explicit and given through direct user action.”

How does this translate into practice?

  • Ban on the use of boxes with pre-selected cookies.
  • Scroll-down cannot be used for implicit consent acquisition.
  • It is impossible to prevent users from accessing the content if they have not accepted cookies.
  • Until the time of explicit consent by the user, no data can be collected.
  • Show cookies on the user’s first visit via banner.
  • Adding links with the cookie policy.
  • Make the user choose the cookies to accept.
  • Give the possibility to modify, at any time, the choices made.

Also Read: Internet Cookies: What Are They, And What Are Their Uses?

8 Solutions To Collect Data Without Cookies

In recent months, websites have already moved in this more privacy-friendly direction. A direction that guarantees protection and safety for people can create some difficulties for companies.

Collecting data on the public is an essential operation for all companies. Especially the less structured realities can have difficulty creating effective campaigns without having more access to data collected and processed by third parties.

The IAPP comes to the aid of small and medium-sized enterprises, suggesting 8 valid alternatives to data collection through cookies.

Advertising Based On Homogeneous Interest Groups

Google is moving in this direction. That is, on groups with the same interests, without analyzing individual user profiles.

Yet, according to the FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts), the individual user will be tracked even with interest groups by returning the aggregated data to the advertiser by the group.

Privacy Cluster

Also, in this case, we speak of groups. A set of three to five people is seen as a single identity. So consider as if they act in unison.

By avoiding personal information, these clusters ensure anonymity for users. A valid alternative to cookies, at least in theory. The effectiveness will have to be tested in practice.

First Party Cookies

By their very nature, they are the natural alternative to third-party cookies. In this case, it is possible to collect user data without intermediaries. Certainly not without their explicit consent.

This often underestimated technology helps companies obtain accurate and reliable data on leads and customers. In addition, it is very suitable for those who have a lot of traffic on their site.

Zero-Party Data

Talking to users directly is always a good option. Why not also do it to collect data?

Questionnaires, forms, interviews. Using these tools and helping you retrieve helpful information about your audience also allows you to interact, involve, and maybe entertain people.

Think of promotional activities, contests, and offers to be tied to the request for information.

Universal Identifiers

An alphanumeric string is associated with each user through a UID that allows profiling without personal identification data.

The tracking and advertising platforms make these identifiers available, allowing, in many cases, also to regenerate the users’ UID.

An excellent solution to combine the effectiveness of data collection and compliance with privacy conditions.


A technology that has been debated for years. The user is identified with his browser and the device’s settings in use. In this way, he is followed in his online actions by Lui, and the collected data are used to outline the profile of a real virtual person.

Attention, however, to the privacy issue. This method could be much more invasive – and intrusive – than it appears.

Conversion Measurement

User anonymity is guaranteed by tracking conversions on a particular site or app. It only works on specific categories, and data exchange between sites is limited.

Therefore it is perfect for guaranteeing privacy but has the disadvantage of collecting information in a limited way and not being sure of its quality.

Contextual Targeting

We are talking about one of the oldest but most effective forms of online advertising. This is what happens when we watch certain content: the internet shows us ads or reviews in line with what we are reading.

If the ad is well structured and contextualized, the result is guaranteed.

Each company, based on its characteristics, can create its strategy. Perhaps by relying on one of these methods or developing new ideas and mechanisms.

However, two pillars must remain on which to base this work: protecting user privacy and the valuable and compelling collection of information.

Also Read: Cookies: The Rules Change – Everything You Need To Know

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