According to a report from USA Today, Google is developing an anonymous identifier, which will be used for advertising.  This ID, currently known as the “AdID” would replace the use of cookies, which are commonly used by brands today.  Advertising networks currently access these cookies to see what types of things users have been browsing, and then attempt to display advertisements which are related to those topics.  This provides users with ads that they may actually be interested in, and marketers with higher quality traffic from their advertising investment.

The plan would reportedly replace these cookies with the AdID.  That AdID would then be transmitted to advertising networks so they can deliver targeted advertising.  The ad networks who receive the AdID information would have to agree to some basic guidelines related to privacy and control over how they use the web.

According to USA Today, this information was provided by a Google employee who asked not to be named because Google has not yet made any public announcements on this program.  They did go on to say that Google plans to discuss their plans with industry participants, government bodies and consumer advocacy groups before taking any action.

While Google claims to have the best interest of advertisers, marketers and consumers in mind, many will undoubtedly be skeptical.  Google runs the largest online ad network, accounting for 1/3 of all online advertising globally, and also the most popular web browser in Google Chrome.

This isn’t an entirely new idea, however.  Apple’s Safari browser has used its own ad identifiers for their mobile iOS platform to gather information for advertising.  Google is simply expanding on this idea, it seems, and offering it as the standard to be used by advertising companies everywhere.

Additional information about the specifics of Google’s new program will likely come out in the coming weeks. While there are still many questions about how this would impact marketing and advertising online, one thing is certain.  There will be many supporters, and many people against the move, resulting in a lot of debate within the industry.


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