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In Human Terms: Third-party cookies are likely going away, but what happens next?

Third-party cookies are likely to be phased out of the digital advertising ecosystem. That much is not a secret. The bigger question, of course, is what happens next. Jeff Green, co-founder and CEO of The Trade Desk, says in the latest episode of In Human Terms.

“The internet has been based on an opt-out system, using cookies that were never built to serve as the mechanism for targeted advertising,” Green says. “What’s now happening is the internet is quickly moving — partly because of well-intended privacy regulation — from an opt-out internet to an opt-in internet.” 

Green, who accurately predicted that Google would delay its decision to remove cookies from its popular Chrome browser, believes consumers will rethink the value exchange offered by the open internet. The search giant has stated it plans to remove cookies by late 2023.  “People didn’t even have the choice to get targeted advertising,” says Green. “That’s what the world of cookies enables, and that’s not what’s best for the consumer.” 

The future, he predicts, involves a world where consumers will first consent and opt-in to the value exchange of free content in return for some level of relevant advertising. . “What that means is we’ve all waited to properly explain the quid pro quo of the open internet until now, and the time has come where that has to happen,” says Green. “We need to explain that in order to see this content, you have to see relevant ads so the publisher can afford to stay in business.” 

All of this, in turn, should create a better experience for both consumers and advertisers who adopt identity solutions like Unified ID 2.0. To get the full breakdown, watch episode 21 of In Human Terms above.