Don't panic over cookie crunch, says Sydney firm with tech solution

By Brendan Coyne | 16 July 2013

Although late, Mozilla still plans to release a Firefox browser version that blocks third party cookies by default. The browser makers that have not yet done so look set to follow suit eventually. The ad industry remains nervous of the impact of the Do Not Track legislation. But the truth is, cookies are stale.

That's the view of three self-confessed geeks from Realign Media that have developed a cookieless tracking solution. Now they want to sell it "to everyone" that uses cookies. But first they have to test it at scale. The three remain tight-lipped on that front but are talking to some of the biggest publishers in Australia.

Big publishers, such as Mi9, are interested, but they have told AdNews that they want to know what's under the hood. Realign is reluctant to give out too much detail as the patent is still pending. But sales director Toby Li told AdNews that it works using an element that is an essential component of a browser. It's not fingerprinting - which does not provide a solution for dynamic IP addresses and can create accuracy issues - and it is not Flash-based. It uses elements that are fundamental to browsing. But that is all they would about the technology.

What it is, said Li, was versatile cookieless tracking (VCT). It works universally across all desktop browsers and across all mobile OS. Li points out that the increasing use of mobile to access the internet called for a new tracking solution for tailored ads anyway.

And while the IAB is still pushing the line that it is better to educate consumers and give them choices about how they choose to browse, Li said the noise whipped-up internationally around the cookie issue "is great for us".

The next few months should determine whether the solution is great for the rest of industry.

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