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The following post was written and/or published as a collaboration between Benzinga’s in-house sponsored content team and a financial partner of Benzinga.

If you’ve ever had suspicions that certain advertisements are following you around the internet, you’re likely experiencing the effect of 3rd-party cookies. 

Despite their innocuous nickname, lines of code called cookies have a sometimes questionable nature. Assuming the role of internet stalker, they can track your name, address, gender, age, location and behaviour as you sift through websites. As you inadvertently nibble on these cookies, you leave a trail of digital crumbs that helps advertisers build a user profile around you. Advertisers might then take this profile and use it to send you advertisements that leave you wondering how they knew.

Digital giants like Meta Platforms Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) and Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) are the main sources of 3rd-party cookies and have been for some time. Google Chrome, for example, controls ⅔ of the global browser market, and its advertising campaigns garnered $147 billion in revenue in 2020. Despite this, corporate giants are becoming increasingly aware of the consumer’s dislike and, in some cases, apathy toward targeted advertising.

“It’s difficult for developers to meet growing expectations for privacy when so many capabilities rely on 3rd-party cookies and other cross-site tracking mechanisms that weren’t designed with privacy in mind,” said Barb Smith, global lead for Chrome and web platform partnerships for Google.

Heeding this realization, Google announced that it would scrap 3rd-party cookies entirely by 2023, sending a ripple of panic throughout the marketing world. This decision means that brands and marketing agencies have to radically rethink their approach to ready themselves for the future and remain competitive. 

Google’s Privacy Sandbox 

In an Online Summit held by Google, Smith described new “privacy-preserving technologies” that will supposedly roll out in 2023, but at the top of the list of features described was not privacy but the ability to deliver “relevant ads and content.” 

Google argues that this is necessary to the business model of today’s web, or what Smith called “a healthy, sustainable ecosystem.” But privacy advocates are not convinced of this. Google’s Privacy Sandbox, the proposed substitute to 3rd-party cookies, operates on technologies like FLoC, which stands for Federated Learning of Cohorts. FLoC is supposedly a way to group like-minded consumers into clusters. Google aims to use this categorization to present targeted advertisements. Essentially, instead of taking a lot of information from one individual, the technology takes bits of information from many individuals, aggregates it and presents it to a relevant cluster.

For many users, this hardly constitutes an improvement over privacy. And even if it did, a world without 3rd-party cookies doesn’t necessarily bring greater privacy or benefit everyone equally. Companies with “walled gardens” like Alphabet Inc., Meta, and Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) have access to troves of 1st-party cookies and are relatively immune to changes in cookie policies. Instead, small and medium businesses lacking this trove will suffer as they fail to present relevant content to consumers.

Bubblr: An Alternative Internet?

For small and medium-sized businesses, a solution that ensures the capture of content that is equal in quality and relevance to their larger counterparts is reportedly far more attractive than Google’s current proposal.

Diving in further, one could argue that the supposedly necessary choice between old and new tracking methods is a false dichotomy. A report by the Electric Frontier Foundation expresses this argument well.

“Google’s pitch to privacy advocates is that a world with FLoC (and other elements of the ‘privacy sandbox’) will be better than the world we have today, where data brokers and ad-tech giants track and profile with impunity,” Bennett Cyphers wrote for the Electric Frontier Foundation. “But that framing is based on a false premise that we have to choose between old tracking and new tracking. It’s not either-or. Instead of reinventing the tracking wheel, we should imagine a better world without the myriad problems of targeted ads.” 

This is precisely the solution Bubblr Inc. (OTCMKTS: BBLR) says it is aiming to build. The company is attempting to create a system that changes the way value is exchanged on the internet and tips the balance to create a more level playing field.

Bubblr’s patented Internet-Based Search Mechanism has a straightforward approach to pursuing internet-driven advertising goals. While typical advertising campaigns are influenced by how much the advertiser pays, campaigns through Bubblr’s platform are organized based purely on relevancy and merit. The platform, for example, will automatically reward businesses that fit the user’s specific search. This reward system prioritizes merit over budget, creating a level playing field for small and large businesses. The user benefits from this by receiving an optimized search engine that doesn’t need a shred of personal data to function.

In a nutshell, Bubblr’s proposed ethical internet is a landscape where the merit of the advertiser determines success and where the consumer’s privacy is the priority. What’s more: Bubblr is making part of its intellectual property open-source, meaning developers all over the world can actively participate in the creation of the next version of the internet. 

As millions of consumers and businesses begin to prepare for the cookieless world, they may just find that Bubblr’s ethical internet is exactly what they’re looking for.

The preceding post was written and/or published as a collaboration between Benzinga’s in-house sponsored content team and a financial partner of Benzinga. Although the piece is not and should not be construed as editorial content, the sponsored content team works to ensure that any and all information contained within is true and accurate to the best of their knowledge and research. This content is for informational purposes only and not intended to be investing advice.

© 2021 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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