Home Daily News Roundup IAB Tech Lab Enters The Sandbox; The Google Trial Behind Closed Doors

IAB Tech Lab Enters The Sandbox; The Google Trial Behind Closed Doors

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Comic: The Privacy Sandbox Naming Committee

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A Line In The Sandbox

The Chrome Privacy Sandbox was hyperactive when it launched in 2019. (Remember the sudden appearance of all those bird names?) That was back when the deadline to remove third-party cookies was Q2 2022.

But in 2021, Google Chrome said the deadline would be delayed by one year. The deadline was then pushed yet again in 2022. Now Chrome third-party cookies are scheduled to shuffle off this mortal coil in the second half of 2024. 

Which is to say that it’s hard to maintain enthusiasm for post-cookie experimentation when the finish line keeps moving out of sight.

The IAB Tech Lab is on it, though, with news of the creation of a Privacy Sandbox Task Force that will test and tinker with the Chrome APIs and report results back to the industry. 

“Given their worldwide market share of approximately 65%, understanding the shifts brought about by Chrome’s Privacy Sandbox development is crucial,” says IAB Tech Lab CEO Tony Katsur in a release

The Privacy Sandbox working group is open to all members, whereas the AI group is just board members. (And, in other news, the Tech Lab also created a new artificial intelligence subcommittee.)

Secrets, Secrets Are So Fun

A running question during the Justice Department’s antitrust case against Google has been what testimony should or shouldn’t happen behind closed doors.

The issue is whether it’s fair to let certain witnesses testify in open court.

Already, for instance, public testimony has revealed that Google execs raise search auction prices for advertisers to meet Google’s own arbitrary Wall Street revenue goals. We’ve also seen the lengths to which Google will go to prevent search competitors from gaining a foothold.

And the latest disclosure is a doozy. Microsoft actually considered taking a multibillion-dollar loss in 2016 to make Bing the default for Safari in order to better compete with Google, Bloomberg reports.

And these are the public sessions. 

“I am not anyone that understands the industry and the markets in the way that you do,” Judge Amit Mehta said during the trial. “And so I take seriously when companies are telling me that if this gets disclosed, it’s going to cause competitive harm.”

But what if the competitive harm isn’t about secret or proprietary information – and Google is just ashamed of its practices being disclosed?

More Than A Cosmetic Change

Two years ago, cosmetics brand Lush announced it would no longer advertise on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok or Amazon. Since then, the brand has upped the ante, saying it’ll rid its media plan of Google, Apple and Microsoft by 2026, The Drum reports. 

Ditching the Big Tech platforms can actually (and counterintuitively) help marketers discover new opportunities they wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.

For example, Lush has been able to get its name and mission in front of potential customers by relying on collaborations with top brands rather than data-driven reach online. 

And by ditching the data-first, algorithmic ad platforms, Lush has left behind the data-driven mentality.

“We definitely are not looking at data insights,” according to Chief Brand Officer Annabelle Baker.

Lush doesn’t select potential partners based on target demographics or by dissecting audience IDs, Baker says. And for Lush, this works.

For instance, it’s unlikely that the data would have pointed Lush to collaborate with SpongeBob SquarePants. It’s not like young children buy much makeup or high-end bath products. But Lush tied the partnership to an ocean conservation initiative and the collab ended up being a major sales driver.

But Wait, There’s More!

Why Spotify is growing its CTV business. [Ad Age]

Jeff Bezos vs. Lina Khan: This is Big Tech’s real cage match. [NYT]

What’s weird, worthless and compelling from the FTC’s antitrust suit against Amazon. [Stratechery – free]

Norway asks the EU to enlarge fines against Meta for user privacy violations in other European jurisdictions. [Reuters]

Snapchat releases “Snapchat Agency Adventure,” a jokey game about working at an agency, as it tries to, uhhh … work more closely with agencies. [Digiday]

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