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Can Adobe survive the future of cookieless tracking?

More than 94% of the digital platforms, track consumer’s data in the form of 1st party & 3rd party cookies. 1st party cookies are individually or co-operate level owned data. Whereas 3rd party cookie is those pieces of data that are owned by a 3rd party vendor.

The web has become so personal with the tracking of location, user preference, browsing history, etc. the users have started to worry about data privacy. With growing awareness about data tracking, consumers are also getting more vigilant about it. Many of the users do not trust 3rd party data tracking systems. This could lead to an overall impact on the brand’s credibility.

To handle such scenarios, many brands do implement the Consent management policy (CMP), which tracks the data only after the consent has been provided by the users. But most of the time these cookies policies come with Terms and conditions applied and most agree to it without even reading them. One reason being that these fine print are often quite technical and not easy to understand and might even not be transparent enough to the consumers.

Many countries have data privacy policies that are strictly regulated. The European countries follow the GDPR (General data protection regulations). In U.S CCPA (California consumer privacy act) is followed. But there are still several regions that don’t have any policies in place to govern this tracking.

Despite the privacy concerns, the consumers are still interested in a tailored personalized experience. So product owners such as Adobe needs to find a way to meet these demand halfway, keeping in mind the user’s preferences.

Another major concern for the product owner is that most of the major browsers have already blocked the usage of 3rd party data. Firefox was the first major browser to make this decision. Many other browsers followed the same path. Even safari no longer supports 3rd party cookies but also deletes the 1st party cookies after 7 days.

The final nail in the coffin was when Google announced that even they would follow the same route as Firefox and safari, and no longer support 3rd party cookies.

By the end of 2022, the 3rd party cookie tracking would be completely phased out.

With huge brands no longer supporting 3rd party cookie systems would make it difficult for other brands to thrive. Because this could create a closed ecosystem where the right to consumer information would be limited to these huge brands such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon only. Any brand looking for a precise consumer profile for targeting or remarking will have to abide by policies set by these huge brands. It would no longer be a mutually agreed partnership.

Adobe needs to come up with a solution where they are not over-reliance on 3rd party cookies. They have to start planning for future steps for customer acquisition and retention.

Adobe has started designing a plan which not just replaces 3rd party cookie tracking systems but also can be the solution to any future blockers and help in long-term sustainability.

One such approach is designing the platform with AI capabilities. This would give the added benefit of predicting the user’s behavior in real-time and aid in creating a personalized user experience. Unlike the 3rd party cookie tracking where the prediction would only be made based on historically collected data.

Another approach would be tracking data through 1st party and 2nd party cookies. 2nd party cookies are those pieces of information that the client and its partner decide to share based on the mutually agreed terms and conditions.


Cookieless tracking is already here and Adobe Analytics has started needs to strategize its tracking system. Adobe may start redesigning the tracking system by introducing AI capabilities or may completely rely on first and second-party cookies. But the main challenge would be to acquire precision in data tracking and audience targeting and remarketing.

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