Digital Privacy Timeline

While there is no doubt that privacy has been at the core of conversations in the advertising industry for the better half of the last decade, 2022 & 2023 are poised to challenge marketers and brands with the full depreciation of cross-site tracking. In order to understand what “cookieless marketing” will look like in the future, we must understand the timeline of what got us here.

2022 & Beyond

Privacy is no Longer “Optional,” it is the Default

  • Google announces sweeping iOS 14.5-like privacy changes coming to all Android phones.
  • Facebook Ad Targeting Changes:
    • Custom audience matching rate dropped
    • Remarketing audiences significantly shrunk
    • Removing targeting options: 
      • Sexual orientation (ex. LGBTQ+)
      • health causes (ex. Breast cancer awareness)
      • Political beliefs (ex. Causes, political figures followed, party alignment, social issues like BLM)
      • Religious practices and groups (ex. Catholic Church, Islam)
    • Roll-out complete by March 2022
  • More Social Media platforms continue to address privacy, slow moving as they may be.
  • Federal legislation for privacy, digital anonymity, and more introduced.
2022 & Beyond

Sept 2021

iOS 15 Released with Even More Privacy Changes

  • Mail Privacy Protection
    • IP masking
    • Email opens no longer tracked
    • “Hide My Email” proxy hides email addresses in first party tracking making it increasingly difficult to establish match back accuracy.
  • 15.2+ continue to add more layers of privacy protection
    • Gives iPhone users the ability to see how each app they download uses their data
    • 96% of iOS users have opted out of app tracking
      • Meaning only 4% of users are tracked in app and allow their data to be shared with third parties.
Sept 2021

April 2021

iOS 14.5 Released

  • Most sweeping privacy changes came from Apple
  • The end of IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers)
    • Device-level identifier used to track interactions with mobile ads
    • Does not collect personal data
  • End of IDFA meant advertisers (and publishers) had to adjust strategy overnight
  • By June, 60% of iPhone users were on IOS 14.5+
April 2021

June 2021

Google Pushes Cookie Phase Out Target Date — 2023

  • In 2022, all 3rd-party cookies were to be deprecated by Google (Chrome, Android, Firefox)
  • Push to mid-2023 buys marketers and brands a lot more time
  • Emerging cookie-less tracking options will continue to improve.
June 2021

June 2020

Apple Announces Sweeping Privacy Changes at WWDC

  • Limit cross-site and -app tracking of iPhone & iPad users
  • Ultimately pushed from a day-one iOS 14 release to later in 2021.
June 2020

Feb 2020

CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) Enacted

  • America’s strictest regulations come out of a California state law
  • GDPR-like regulations
Feb 2020

Late 2019

Chrome & Firefox Play Catch Up

  • Both browsers announce sweeping changes to data collections, cookie-tracking, and cross-site matching.
  • Implement a litany of privacy controls
Late 2019

Oct 2019

Facebook Fined $5 Billion by FTC

  • First major legal ramification against Facebook
Oct 2019

May 2019

Apple ITP 2.2

  • Apple reduces first party cookie tracking to 1-day windows only.
May 2019

Feb 2019

Apple released Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) 2.1

  • Apple shifts focus from cross-site tracking prevention to first party cookies
  • iOS and macOS Safari browsers reduced tracking user identity across sites.
  • First ever major change to first party tracking
    • Meaning your own tracking and data, not data purchased or aggregated by FB, Google, etc.
  • All 3rd party cookies blocked, first party cookies reduced to a 7-day tracking window, new cookies are blocked and purged.
Feb 2019

Oct 2018

GDPR Regulations & ITP Changes

  • European Union & United Kingdom
  • Significant regulations against cookie based tracking and data collections
Oct 2018

Mid 2018

Facebook-Cambridge Analytics Data Scandal

Mid 2018

That’s as far back as we think is relevant to this timeline, but we update this timeline regularly as we digest industry news. Check our Insights & Culture page for more.