Tracking cookies and tags can be invaluable tools for any business with an online presence. Businesses use them to monitor consumer data and to help them make decisions about what direction to go based on the actions, interests, and needs of their consumers. In fact, without some kind of tracking data, business analytics would be deemed useless. 

Unfortunately for consumers, tracking has gotten out of hand in many cases, which is why we now have new regulations that give more power to the consumer and restrict what kinds of tracking can happen online without the consumer’s consent. 

The eDirective, for instance, protects consumers’ privacy by regulating online tracking, restricting personal profiling, and restricting non consensual third party data harvesting, among other things. 

The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) also protects consumer privacy and puts tracking largely within consumer control. However, although these regulations are great for privacy protection, they make it difficult for businesses to know the trends and needs of their target audience. 

Not following privacy regulations can easily mean hefty fines for businesses. For instance, Amazon was fined $877 million for failure to obtain “freely given” consent, and Google was fined $56.6 million for violations in providing privacy notices. 

Fortunately, there are ways that businesses can still track consumer data with anonymity while adhering to privacy regulations and doing their part to keep consumers safe. 

Data Collection in a Post-Cookie World
Source: InfoTrust