Australians consumers are aware of cookies but don't understand their purpose

Paige Murphy
By Paige Murphy | 27 May 2021

New research released today shows that there is still a significant lack of understanding about how the open internet is funded.

More than one-third of Australian internet users (37%) do not understand the link between advertising and free content online.

The research conducted by advertising technology company The Trade Desk and YouGov also found that most Australians are aware of cookies, having engaged with them while browsing the internet.

It revealed that 81% of Australians noted a significant increase in websites asking them to accept cookies. However, more than half (56%) remain uncertain of the role cookies play in digital advertising.

Despite engaging with cookies, consumers do not understand their purpose or the value exchange that funds the open internet.

The data also shows that less than a quarter (22%) of Aussies are aware that there will be significant changes to digital advertising when cookies are deprecated in 2021.

“This research is an absolute call to action for our industry," The Trade Desk Australia and New Zealand general manager James Bayes says.

"Empowering people with more information builds trust and encourages greater data sharing to enable relevant advertising. This is crucial for powering the value exchange of the free content we all enjoy every day.”

In response to the deprecation of cookies next year, Unified ID 2.0, originally developed by The Trade Desk, is an industry-wide initiative to pioneer an upgraded alternative to third-party cookies.

Unified ID 2.0 has been designed from the consumer’s perspective, putting privacy and control at the forefront for consumers, while preserving the value of relevant advertising.

“This problem will not be solved by one company alone. It’s clear that we need to come together as an industry to create an upgraded solution that better explains the value exchange of the internet and improves consumer controls," Bayes says.

"Importantly, the industry is under never-before-seen pressure to adopt an independent identity solution. The Trade Desk has made Unified ID 2.0 open source through its collaboration with IAB Tech Lab.” 

Beta testing for Unified ID 2.0 began in Australia last month with companies including ARN, Southern Cross Austereo, Nova Entertainment, Unruly, Criteo, Index Exchange, LiveRamp, Magnite, Nielsen, OpenX, PubMatic., the independent organisation designed to ensure and promote fair and transparent marketplaces across the industry, has agreed to serve as an operator of Unified ID 2.0.

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