From new Google and Facebook algorithms to GDPR, every so often a seismic change happens which can catch businesses on the backfoot. The impending loss of third party cookies is potentially one of those changes.\n\nGoogle announced it would phase out third-party cookies in Chrome by late 2023 in a move dubbed by some as the \u2018cookiepocalypse\u2019. It follows other industry moves to address privacy concerns such as Apple Intelligent Tracking Prevention, which stops companies from identifying and profiling their customers using third party cookies. Already, approximately 30% of their web visitors can no longer be profiled. This will jump to around 90% next year when Google Chrome removes support for third party cookies.\n\nThe consequences for marketers who aren\u2019t prepared could be profound. Analysis by McKinsey found the publishing industry alone could lose up to \u00a310 billion in advertising revenue as a result of the changes.\n\n\n\nA vital tool for business\n\nThe third party cookie has had something of a bad reputation in some circles, particularly where they relate to privacy. But cookies improve the user experience and provide an invaluable tool for tracking website visitors and collecting data which allows companies to better target ads to the right audiences.\n\n\n\n\n\nA web browser can actually use up to eight types of cookies, although first and third party cookies are the type most people are familiar with. When someone is online, a cookie just stores a small amount of data on their computer. The data could include things such as which sites they visited and pages they viewed during their online session. \n\n\n\n\n\nWhile first party cookies only get that data from the site the user visited, a third party one lets other sites access that data. This helps build up customer profiles and tailor ads and offers specifically to people you know will be interested in what you\u2019ve got to offer. For marketers, they\u2019re invaluable for measuring campaign effectiveness and conversion rates as well as personalising content. \n\n\n\nA world after cookies \n\nThe void created for marketers and advertisers by the demise of third party cookies can\u2019t be overstated. Business agility will be vital as companies search for alternatives.\n\nThe focus going forward will have to be on first party data information which the customer has provided directly and which, while sometimes harder to get \u2013 is by its nature more accurate in helping build a picture of what they want and how they behave. For marketers this means gathering data directly through apps, websites, surveys rather than tracking their devices.\n\n\n\n\n\nOne such solution is offered by Teradata in partnership with Celebrus. It delivers the world\u2019s only true first-party digital identity solution, which is unaffected by browser restrictions and third-party cookie deprecation.\n\nThe bottom line is that business is about to lose a gold mine of data. But there are solutions out there to mitigate this loss if action is taken now. For more information on how to close the gap on digital identity management click here.