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Media Review #13: Google’s Updates, FLEDGE & SSPs, Cafemedia on Topics API, DSA & DMA Are On

User reading news

Last Updated on: 3rd June 2024, 04:49 pm

In this media review, you can find out more about the latest Google announcements concerning the 3rd-party cookie phase out being postponed until 2024 [Note: In April 2024, it was further postponed until early 2025] and the tests expansion for the Privacy Sandbox for the Web, the news connected with Google’s Origin Trials and Topics API, as well as the reboot to the EU’s digital rulebook by the European parliament—DSA and DMA.

Table of Contents:

Expanding testing for the Privacy Sandbox for the Web – Google The Keyword

= Google published an announcement that the 3rd-party cookie phase out is postponed until 2024. The post claims that this decision is a result of consistent feedback submitted by developers, marketers, and regulators, as well as Google’s obligations towards the CMA.

= At the same time, Google is expanding Privacy Sandbox testing in time and scope. In the article published on the Chrome Developers website we can read that:

  • Google requested Privacy Sandbox desktop trials to be extended to the end of Oct 2022 (Chrome 107, rather than the previously planned 104),
  • the current trial is enabled for 50% of Chrome Beta users and Google plans to include a portion of Chrome Stable traffic starting in August,
  • the trial is supposed to include mobile users with Chrome 105 Stable on Android,
  • another user-agent reduction is supposed to roll out in Oct 2022, this one is going to replace the OS/platform version and device model with fixed values.

= Lastly, Google submitted the Feedback Report – 2022 Q2 (which is one of the obligations to the CMA) on its Chrome Developers website. The report states that: 

  • Google will make sure to address the issue of the Privacy Sandbox favoring big publishers, 
  • there are fears in the industry that regulators controlling Google are not experts in the adtech field,
  • Topics API taxonomy is probably going to change,
  • FLEDGE will support frequency capping for on-device auctions and contextual/branding campaigns,
  • Google doesn’t rule out using SDA in its FLEDGE auctions,
  • “a two hop proxy” with “reputable companies”  is considered for Gnatcatcher by Google to avoid fraud and bots in absence of an IP address,
  • FedCM, a proposal addressing federated identity use cases, changed its name to “Web Identity API.”

Google’s Origin Trials: FLEDGE Testing Would Benefit From More Input by SSPs – Performance IN

= This article points out that although the FLEDGE trials are going well for the buy side, SSPs (other than Google’s) are not engaged enough in the testing of this major Privacy Sandbox element.

= The article emphasizes that if SSPs fail to engage in the nearest future, they will have no impact on the decisions concerning the FLEDGE environment (such as who should run the top-level multi-SSP ad auction) or might even lose many publishers due to their direct integrations with the buy side.

= The current origin trial is, according to the article, just an initial stage of the larger effort aimed to develop Privacy Sandbox concepts, and the entire industry, not only SSPs, is encouraged to participate to ensure its utility meets adtech’s functional requirements.

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Google’s Topics API Picks On Smaller Publishers – AdExchanger

= The article states that although Topics API is a better solution than its predecessor in terms of privacy, it sacrifices too much in two aspects: utility and fair competition. 

= For the utility part – the article mentions that the number of topics is brought down from around 33,000 to 350, making targeting use cases coarse.

= For the competitive part – niche/independent websites will generate a big value for larger entities while getting very little from big and generic/multi-topic platforms.

= On top of that, according to the article, Topics API can result in audience data leakages to untrustworthy sites if Google does not ensure a similar level of validation to today’s ad system standards.

= Last but not least, in order to ensure that nobody’s good interests get lost in the process of the Topics API development, Cafemedia encourages everyone to “work together as an industry,” as especially small/niche publishers might not have the time and resources to actively contribute to have their voices heard.

European parliament backs ‘historic’ reboot to EU’s digital rulebook – TechCrunch

= TechCrunch reports that the European Parliament had officially passed the Digital Markets Act (DMA) and the Digital Services Act (DSA). These regulations will go into effect at the beginning of next year “after the formal adoption process is completed.” 

= The article highlights that the DMA lays out obligations for digital service “gatekeepers” while the DSA puts more responsibility on large platforms to police and take down illegal content. Both regulations will result in up to 20% of the company’s global turnover if it fails to comply. 

[Reminder: “gatekeeper” is defined as a company that provides core platform services (search engine, social network, messenger), has a market cap of at least EUR 75B or an annual turnover of at least EUR 7.5B, and has at least 45M monthly end users and 10K annual business users in the EU.]

= It is underlined in the article that the enforcement might constitute an issue as it will require a lot of resources, including “scientific talent in data science and algorithms that will complement and assist the enforcement teams.”

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