Even as the ad industry began to experience the full enforcement of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) on July 1, 2020, consumers around the world remain concerned about their personal data privacy.

The Cisco Consumer Privacy Survey of 2019 indicates that 84% of the respondents not only care about data privacy, but they also want more control over how their data is being used. Of this group, 80% also say they are willing to act to protect it.

The CCPA, which went into effect on January 1, 2020, is designed to guarantee a California consumer’s right to data privacy. Despite its name and origination, it does affect internet businesses and advertisers based all over the world.

While the issue of data privacy focuses on a person’s right to protect their personal information, data security focuses on protecting that personal data from malicious attacks or exploitation and unauthorized third-party access.

The Demise of Third-Party Cookies

One of the initiatives influencing the touch point of privacy-awareness is the demise of third-party cookies.

In January 2020, Google announced plans to phase out the use of third-party cookies on the Chrome browser by 2022; this drew much attention due to the dominance of their browser. By the end of 2019, Google Chrome made up more than 56% of the web browser market and accounted for more than half of all global web traffic.

Giving insight into the decision, Google explains, "Users are demanding greater privacy – including transparency, choice and control over how their data is used – and it’s clear the web ecosystem needs to evolve to meet these increasing demands."

What Sets Third-Party Cookies Apart From First-Party Cookies

The biggest – and most marked – difference between third-party and first-party cookies is who owns the data and how it’s used. By 2022, all major web browsers (Safari and Firefox since 2013 and finally, Chrome) will phase out third-party cookies, leaving only first-party cookies.

1st party cookies vs. 3rd party cookies comparison

Both first- and third-party cookies track user behavior on websites but collect it and use it in different ways. First-party cookies remember a website visitor’s passwords and other preferences to enhance the user experience while gathering other information such as what they did while visiting the website, how often they visit it and other basic analytics that can be used to develop an effective marketing strategy. Any data a website owner tracks from their own website visitors by first-party cookies will remain in-tact, on all browsers.

Mobile: The Primary User Experience?

Still, Google’s plan for third-party cookies has prompted several ad industry insiders to speculate what it means for digital advertisers and for data privacy in the long run. Some say it is Google that stands to profit most from limiting digital advertiser options for ad targeting, forcing them to rely on first-party data within Google’s own tool they’re developing, Privacy Sandbox. Others acknowledge the notable amount of user annoyance with cookies in online advertising, urging marketers to re-consider targeting strategies that do the same job without employing cookies at all.

A savvy few believe the cookie will grow even more ineffective for advertisers moving forward due to the fact that mobile is already most consumers’ primary user experience, and cookies often make it difficult to track marketing campaigns in the mobile space.


Desktop users have been blocking third-party cookies for years by using private or incognito mode on their browsers, changing their cookie and tracking settings, installing ad blockers or other similar browser extensions, and using the Safari web browser on Apple’s devices to block third-party cookies by default. Even when using a computer, third-party cookies have been losing their edge.

Now, consider trying to reach mobile-only users who almost never fire up a desktop to research a product or to buy something. Why would a digital advertiser rely on third-party cookies to give them the best user experience possible, with ads they actually care about?

Shifting From Third-Party Cookies to MAIDs

Mobile devices – and those who use them, by default – are much more into MAIDs than cookies.

Mobile advertising IDs, or MAIDs, are unique strings of digits that mobile device manufacturers such as Apple and Android assign to each mobile device produced. MAIDs make it easy to track the habits o

mobile advertising IDs (MAIDs) visual

f the people who are using their mobile devices 24/7 and always on the go.

Similar to cookies, mobile IDs make it possible for mobile users to see the most personalized content at the top of their news feeds. Advertisers use them to target their messaging to an audience who wants to see it.

Sincere People-Based Marketing

MAIDs make it possible to match consumers’ mobile habits with their desktop, connected TV and even their offline habits for a fuller picture of who they are and how to market to them.

Because each mobile phone has a unique mobile ID, it can be traced back to its one unique user, unlike cookies and browsers. Cookies can number in the hundreds per desktop computer, and each computer can have multiple users.

Mobile IDs also have a consistent opt-out for privacy that is native to the device, giving users plenty of opportunities to opt-in or opt-out of how their data is used.

Key Takeaways

  1. Consumers around the world remain concerned about their personal data privacy.
  2. By 2022, all of the major web browsers are phasing out third-party cookies, which are already becoming a less reliable source of ad-targeting as more consumers choose mobile-first.
  3. First-party data remains intact and will continue to be an important tool for advertisers to learn about their consumer’s behaviors on their website.
  4. The best way to collect this data – and keep it safe – is mobile advertising IDs.
  5. If you’re using MAIDs to better understand user behavior or to target advertising to people, include it in your terms of service.

If you’re looking to partner with leading experts in the digital space, then look no further! Connect with an MBI Media Strategist to align your advertising goals with a digital media strategy that includes MAIDs.