If you’re feeling anxious and in the dark about how your data is being trafficked around the web, you're not alone.
The titlewave of data breaches , alleged privacy violations and the rise of compliance intervention with GDPR stand as a reminder to us web and app content viewers: we need to better understand data collection practices.
First party data (or the data we, as users, explicitly share) proves a useful tool for publishers and advertisers alike. Its use can create better, more personal content and app or web user experiences for us all. But a desire to personalize user experiences can be a pretence for shady data usage — including questionable acquisition and sharing practices. These get even more problematic when third party data is added to the mix.
But what exactly is the difference between first and third party data? How does it compromise legitimate data usage and why are marketers working so hard to get ahold of it?
The answer becomes clear once we understand the data types we’re dealing with.
First Party data is the information that is collected and analysed by the creator of the content and/or product. For example: the information you give when logging in to a social network or provide when you sign up to various loyalty programs.
Third Party data comes from a data aggregator, usually a DMP (data management platform) or other services that collect and analyse the information. These package and offer advertisers data points based on inferred information. Examples might be the searches you make on Google or your online shopping browsing history.
Adage created a great, simple video explaining the difference between first and third party data:
Explain It Like I'm Eight: First- vs. Third-Party Data
When people surf the web, they leave behind a trail of information from Google searches and websites to what YouTube…
As tensions grow around data collection and tracking, it’s important to remember this data collection is what’s keeping the sites and apps we love free, by allowing advertisers to be more effective. So while data breaches and misuse are of concern, first and third party data collection as basic practices should not be vilified. What needs fixing are the the insecure practices, user abuse and ecosystem fraud that impact quality experiences for everyone.
The Zinc protocol aims to bring transparency to online advertising by allowing users to take control of what information to share with advertisers. They get rewarded for viewing ads and their data sharing allows advertisers, publishers, app developers and ad networks to improve monetization, increase ROI and perform better in a new type of ecosystem built around quality, compliant data. Zinc’s design means benefits to all honest actors, rather than lining the pockets of fraudsters like what is happening today.