The Cookie Exchange — How GDPR Created a New Market for Pseudonymized Cookies

Zach Edwards
May 25, 2018 · 22 min read

“There are now over 6,000 ETFs on 60 exchanges and ETFs exist for everything from corporate bonds to gold bars to oil…” — Click here to watch the 2-minute video on

The Genesis of the Cookie Exchange

“I’’ll bet you $50 with Texas-sized odds @ 3:1 that you can’t beat $1.75 cost-per-click @ $45 cost-per-customer-acquisition for the Facebook Audience ‘Newly Moved’ and a budget of $1k.”

What is “Pseudonymization” and Why Does it Matter?

Digital Cookies Used for User Tracking Have Value

Massol and Pierru’s variation of the Shapley Value Formula from “The Shapley Value as a tractable solution to share costs among a large number of substitutable customers. A Gas Transmission example.” (View abstract of the paper — warning Word DOC from — purchase the paper here for $15.)

Why Google Uses the Shapley Value Formula for Attribution and Why the World should Use it to Cooperate on the Internet

Google DDA Attribution (Shapley Value) Accurately Gives Credit for Past Touch Points

From Slideshare

If Google uses the Shapley Value to credit “traffic sources” (but not give them any revenue) why can’t we create a new market that provides monetary value for the “conversion assists” on a user’s pseudo-cookie?

Security of the Cookie Exchange from Current “Same-Origin” Tech Standards — Pseudonymized Cookie Data Passing Between Domains and Businesses Securely via “Cross-Origin Resource Sharing” (CORS) via the “withCredentials” Property

CORS Flow Chart from

It’s clear that the schema for the Cookie Exchange would need to be debated for consensus among publishers, but there are no technical limitations to pass pseudonymized data between domains via a cookie text file.

CORS is part of the magic sauce behind a Cookie Exchange actually passing data between websites…but one of the most exciting things about the Cookie Exchange is that websites aren’t the only thing that can append data to a cookie…

How the Cookie Exchange ETF Market Would Trade Cookie Indexes and Baskets

How would a banker and anyone participating in an ETF Market stabilize prices and automate targeting?

Here’s a visualization of this balancing effect in an ETF Market:

Picking Winners and Losers in the Cookie Exchange

Indexes and Baskets in a Cookie Exchange

Cookie Exchanges — Retargeting Refunds, Automated Lookalike Audiences & Targeting, Reduced Click Costs, “Shopping Mode” and Other Reasons to Get Excited about the Future of Advertising

Retargeting Refunds & Ending the Self-Defeating Retargeting Monopolies

Finding more active buyers through pseudo-cookie transparency

My data, my people — the retargeting strategy fallacy

The public has made it clear they don’t like being “followed around the internet” with advertisements, yet the core concept of retargeting hasn’t changed.

Automated Audience Expansions without Facebook/Google’s “Lookalike” Audience Fees

How do you automate creating lookalike audiences?

The New “Shopping Mode”

Ugh, as-if users wouldn’t go for a temporary “Shopping Mode” — instead of the current processes where the ads follow them around the internet indefinitely and provide that overwhelming sense of ickiness.

Conclusion — Who will build the first Cookie Exchange?

Video Summary of the Cookie Proposal

Questions that still need to be answered about Cookie Exchanges:

Zach Edwards

Written by

Founded/Co-founded 6 companies (🎞,☎️,🔌,📊,👨‍🏫,🐔), digital team for Obama 08’ + numerous other campaigns, motto = Research. Build. Test. Repeat. // whitehat

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