Just last week, we learned that P&G is testing a workaround to Apple’s privacy updates to collect user data. Now, as the race for cookie-free targeting alternatives continues, Verizon is throwing its hat into the ring. On April 15, the company announced the launch of Next-Gen Solutions to utilize user data including local weather, location, and device type to tailor ads without using cookies or other personal identifiers.

How it works

MarketingDive explains:

The suite consists of three tools for defining which audiences to target, buying ads programmatically and measuring the results. Next-Gen Audiences relies on first-party consumer data collected by Verizon Media, and uses machine learning (ML) to build models of audience segments. Next-Gen Buying is integrated with Verizon Media’s demand-side platform (DSP), which provides frequency capping to avoid serving consumers with the same ad too often, which is wasteful and detracts from a positive consumer experience. Next-Gen Measurement promises to give marketers an omnichannel view of their campaigns.

Verizon believes the technology will help promote a positive customer experience as marketing shifts away from reliance on third-party cookies. In a statement, Verizon Media’s CBO Iván Markman remarked:

 “The future of identity lies in striking the right balance of providing a meaningful consumer experience and delivering growth for advertisers and publishers, while also preserving consumer trust.”

Cookie-free marketing and FLoC

The news comes alongside Google’s testing of Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) technology on Chrome to create user profiles and track users without third-party cookies. While Google is presenting the move as a privacy-friendly alternative, other privacy-focused browsers have criticized the technology.

Vivaldi CEO and co-founder Jon von Tetzchner remarked:

“At Vivaldi, we stand up for the privacy rights of our users. We do not approve tracking and profiling, in any disguise. We certainly would not allow our products to build up local tracking profiles… To us, the word ‘privacy’ means actual privacy. We do not twist it into being the opposite. We do not even observe how you use our products. Our privacy policy is simple and clear; we do not want to track you.”

Representatives from Brave and DuckDuckgo have also voiced their opposition to FLoC technology.