You read it everywhere. Google Chrome has started phasing out "Third Party Cookies. 'Third Party Cookies' are text files, in the form of a script, that Google places in your browser. This is how they monitor what you do online and communicate this to Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest, for example. The "accidental" ads you see when you have been searching for shoes are not "accidental. Instagram knows, through third party cookies, that you have been searching for shoes and lets their advertisers use this information.
As of Jan. 1, Google stopped allowing certain types of these text files (third-party cookies) in Chrome. They are starting first with a small group of users and want to do it for everyone by Q3 of the year. A company with a lot of ads on Instagram, based on interests, will be able to target less specifically in the future. This is because those interests are no longer allowed to be stored due to changes in laws and regulations about them.
There are two ways commonly used to collect data. The terms for these are "Client Side" and "Server Side. In practice, 'Client Side' means someone else is storing your data. Server Side means that you store your data yourself.
Currently, most people use the Client Side way. Take Google Analytics and the schurq website as an example. Google places a "third party cookie" at www.schurq.nl that allows them to see how long a user reads a blog and then what page it clicks to. Data about a user's behavior (1) on schurq's website. (2) is sent to a Google server (3). On that server, it is anonymized and then visualized in Google Analytics 4. Google is the third party that participates after which it is only anonymized. This is no longer allowed under the amended laws and regulations.
And then Server Side. A technical story using Google Tag Manager and its own server. In this case, schurq. places a cookie. That cookie is from schurq. itself and is therefore 'first party'. The data about a user's behavior (1) on schurq.'s website. (2) is shot to its own server (2). So there is no 'third party'. From that own server it is encrypted. Fully anonymized data is forwarded to Google Analytics 4 in accordance with laws and regulations. By adding our own server in the process we ensure that data is stored first party. And there are advantages to that.
Your data is clouding. This means that in the future you can no longer blindly trust what Google Analytics 4 shows. In practice, you will see that more and more visitors have entered the website through 'direct traffic.' Where you used to see a clear division into 'organic visitors via google', 'direct traffic' or 'LinkedIn advertising' this will all be categorized under 'direct traffic'. If you pay €300 to LinkedIn so that your ads are displayed, then you want to know how many requests come in. If you don't switch, then tracking these requests becomes much more difficult.