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Privacy Sandbox Yellow Flags

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You could read the 99-page quarterly update from the CMA, which must approve Google Chrome’s deprecation of third-party cookies. Or you can tune into our podcast this week, where we discuss the biggest issues the CMA has with the Privacy Sandbox.

Among these issues: Will the CMA accept that the Privacy Sandbox could end up favoring Google, what with Google being Google and all? What about the “top-level seller” designation, a spot that seems designed for Google Ad Manager? What to make of the latency introduced in the auction? Or the fact that the PAAPI and contextual auctions serve as floors for other auctions? Will the Privacy Sandbox allow in more cloud providers (besides Google Cloud and AWS) to be official Trusted Execution Environments (TEEs)?

Some of these technical issues raised by the CMA will be easy to address, while others are thorny knots, where each thread must be untangled to make sense of how these technical changes interplay with the broader ad ecosystem. The conversation around the end of the cookie may feel like old news, but it’s more substantial than ever. Yes, cookie deprecation is delayed. But with replacements more fully developed, there are 99 pages of problems to mull over.

Later on the podcast, we do a vibe check of the Newfronts, the digital answer to the Upfronts. The Newfronts are the Reno to the Upfront’s Las Vegas, quips Senior Editor James Hercher. And this year, that assessment felt more true than ever, as up-and-coming digital publishers fell out of the race.

Some publishers like Condé Nast remain as presenters, and the IAB did showcase news publishers, but former big draws like Refinery29 and Vice are out – and acquired (and for sale again) and bankrupt, respectively. The big stars of the Newfronts now tend to be platforms, including YouTube and Roku, who both touted new programmatic and data offerings in their presentations.

After the Newfronts wrap, the Upfronts will take place in mid-May, and programmatic also promises to be a hot topic.

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