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A Sandbox Skeptic

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Samantha Jacobson, The Trade Desk

What is Google’s true motive in launching the Chrome Privacy Sandbox?

If Samantha Jacobson, chief strategy officer at The Trade Desk, were an optimist, she’d take Google at its word that this is about privacy protection. She’d also give Google credit for at least attempting to support certain advertising use cases and not taking the Apple route of simply removing cookies from its browser overnight.

And “if I were a cynic,” Jacobson says on this week’s episode of AdExchanger Talks, “I might look at it and say, ‘This is actually an intentional distraction.’”

She might then go on to observe that the Privacy Sandbox is causing the online ad industry to tie itself in knots “while Google circles the wagons around YouTube and Search – their cash cows – in an effort to bolster them and, eventually, abandon the open internet.”

So is Jacobson an optimist or a cynic?

“I’m somewhere on the spectrum,” she says.

Speculation and cynicism aside, The Trade Desk is testing the Chrome Privacy Sandbox APIs and participating in industry working groups, including the IAB Tech Lab’s Privacy Sandbox Task Force, which recently released a savage teardown of the sandbox APIs.

The Trade Desk is also sharing its feedback directly with Google, which Jacobson says has been very open to receiving it.

Even so, she retains her healthy skepticism.

“Do I think the Privacy Sandbox is a sound solution that delivers value for advertisers and publishers? No,” Jacobson says. “We try to approach [it] with an open mind … but the reality is that I have major concerns about the impact it will have on publishers.”

Also in this episode: An update on Unified ID 2.0 and its European cousin, why OpenPath isn’t an attempt to drink the sell side’s milkshake, The Trade Desk’s expanded data partnership with Roku, the open internet vs. the “premium internet” and how TTD comes up with product names (Galileo, Solimar, Koa, KokaiMegagon??).

For more articles featuring Samantha Jacobson, click here.

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