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Google Privacy Sandbox Testing

2024 is a huge year of change and Criteo is preparing today.

In 2024, Google Chrome will join other browsers in deprecation of third-party cookies. Third-party cookies are important to all of us in the industry because they facilitate addressability functions like personalization, retargeting, creative and campaign optimization, measurement, and much more. As Google phases out third-party cookies, they have proposed a new solution to maintain addressability called Google Privacy Sandbox.

Google Privacy Sandbox aims to power audience targeting, attribution, fraud protection, and more without the use of third-party cookies. You can learn more about Google’s proposals directly on their website.

Testing Timelines For Google Privacy Sandbox Proposals

Throughout 2020: Criteo publishes several proposals laying the groundwork for current solutions.

First Quarter 2021: Criteo tests FLoC, an initial proposal for early-stage Privacy Sandbox iterations. Criteo runs a public ML challenge on learning with aggregated data.  

First Quarter 2022: Google opens the Origin Trial, a test on 5% of Chrome traffic without third-party cookie deprecation. Criteo begins testing of Topics API, Protected Audience API, and Attribution Reporting API as a part of this Privacy Sandbox Testing. 

Jan 2023-Dec 2023: Ongoing testing and feedback sessions held directly between Criteo and Google to review test performance and make recommendations for new features and setups.

November 15, 2023: Criteo begins recruiting control vs test groups for tag-based integrations by setting a new cookie required by Google "receive-cookie-deprecation."

Nov 15, – Dec 31, 2023: Recruitment of test and control groups continues through the pre-testing phase.

December 4, 2023: Criteo begins a market test of utility of CHIPS solution in Privacy Sandbox using “partitioned_bundle” cookie for limited US-based traffic as part of CMA testing.

January 1, 2024: Google’s announced date for cookie deprecation on 1% of Chrome traffic globally. This will be the first time that cookies are deprecated in Chrome.   

Jan 1 – June 30, 2024: Ongoing testing will take place with Criteo continuing to assess Privacy Sandbox APIs and provide feedback to Google. Criteo will continue recruitment for test vs control groups throughout this period leveraging Google Privacy Sandbox testing cookie “receive-cookie-deprecation”. 

July 1, 2024: If the CMA approves Google Privacy Sandbox, Google plans to begin phasing out support for third-party cookies gradually on Chrome starting in 3Q2024.

How Criteo supports our customers without third-party cookies

Criteo has a multi-pronged strategy that optimizes addressability support in real-time during every ad call instance. We enable targeting, measurement, creative and product recommendations, and so much more by connecting demand to matched supply via future-proof first-party identifiers. We leverage Google Privacy Sandbox in Chrome where unauthenticated users can still be reached on a user-level within the Privacy Sandbox APIs. We use first-party data when available for authenticated users in Chrome, as well as on other browsers and environments. We also connect our clients directly to highly addressable Closed Environments like Retail Media Onsite and Social, right from within our platforms.

You can learn more about our addressability strategy by listening in to our Chief Product Officer, Todd Parsons, during his recorded webinar for partners here.

Recommendations for Partners

How to Prepare Today for a Cookieless Future

Criteo is establishing a framework that makes it easy for our partners to take advantage of tools that enable addressability, but there is a lot you can do today to prepare for the cookie-less future.  

First-Party Data Preparedness:  

  • Consider your first-party data strategy TODAY. If your first-party data set is built primarily with third-party cookies for web environments, consider ways to onboard customer data in new ways, like through registering email to receive updates, discounts, or new content.  

  • Optimize your setup to ensure you are passing hashed email (HEM) to Criteo via your direct integration. Tag pages that have significant HEM traffic, like cart and transaction pages where customers are more likely to log in.

Google Privacy Sandbox Preparedness:  

  • Become familiar with Google’s Privacy Sandbox proposals by staying up to date with trade publications and with your Criteo points of contact.

  • Ask your Criteo team about our testing progress. We are publishing results on our R&D blog to keep both ourselves and Google accountable for transparency for our partners.

  • Optimize your setup with tags. Google Privacy Sandbox is a Javascript-based technology, so JS tags are the best integration type to use today. Ensure you are prepared for third-party cookie deprecation in Chrome by working with your Criteo points of contact to optimize your tag-based setup.

  • Optimize open-web with Closed Environments to maximize value:  
    Criteo enables customers to optimize open internet and social budgets in real-time within a single campaign. Connecting these two environments maximizes addressable reach for first-party data.

  • Talk to your Criteo team to ensure you are aware of how social and Retail Media onsite campaigns can extend addressable reach and enable targeting and measurement without third-party cookies.

Privacy Sandbox Opt-Out

For partners who do not want to be included in Privacy Sandbox testing or future addressability support, Criteo offers a clear opt-out. Please reach out to your Criteo point of contact, who will facilitate the removal of the Privacy Sandbox test vs control recruitment cookie "receive-cookie-deprecation" from your integration.