Meet Your New Handcuffs, Same As Your Old Handcuffs
One of the unintended consequences of the EU’s new GDPR regulations is the sunsetting of an industry tracking pillar known as the Google Ad ID. Since 2013 Google has placed an ID on all ad units it serves as a way to track and measure the ads’ performance. As a digital media publisher if you use Google’s ad server you’ve definitely relied on Google’s Ad ID to conduct business. However, thanks to GDPR Google’s method of assigning unique identifiers to track ads and sharing that data with third parties is no longer legal, so Google has had to come up with a work around.
As a replacement for the Google Ad ID, they’re introducing a new cloud-based data warehouse called Ads Data Hub (ADH). Think of this as the ultimate walled garden where ad exposure and attribution can still be tracked, but in a completely anonymized environment that only Google has the keys to. ADH sets up a conundrum for brands – do they continue serving ads through Google by switching over to ADH (and lose even more control over their data), or find a different third party ad tracker who’s GDPR complaint. Understandably opinions about how brands should handle this decision are all over the board.
Right now Google is only rolling out ADH in the EU, but it’s expected to become their global standard for ad tracking on Google and YouTube over the next few months. I guess it’s Google’s world no matter what, and we’re just living in it.