Changes in Data Privacy: A Must-Read Guide for Marketing Agencies

When it comes to privacy, the winds of change are stronger than ever. Data privacy has come to the top of the IT agenda, with significant regulations such as GDPR and CCPA set to take effect in 2018 and 2020, respectively. And it shows no signs of stopping down in the near future.

Google, Meta, and Apple have made data privacy a mission, and the results are affecting the entire foundation of advertising and marketing strategies. The landscape is rife with changes that are transforming the way we as marketers work, from the recent iOS 17 improvements to the impending deprecation of cookies in Google Chrome in 2024.

As we analyze these trends, one thing becomes crystal clear: the job of marketers is becoming more difficult. Not because we have to alter what we are doing, but because change is not an option. In some circumstances, there are even legal consequences! 

The challenge for marketing agencies is much greater: adapt to all the changes, demonstrate value to clients, and demonstrate campaign ROI. It’s not a simple task.

Our goal is to look into a few of the big data privacy changes affecting marketing firms and attempt to both deconstruct and explain the route forward. Let’s figure out how to adapt to these developments and evolve our strategy.

5 Significant Data Privacy Changes Impacting Marketing Agencies

  1. Updates to Apple’s iOS 17
  2. The Demise of Google Chrome Cookies
  3. Google and Yahoo Spam Filters Update 
  4. Google’s Decision to Discontinue Use of Old Email Addresses
  5. Subscriptions to Meta Ad-Free in the EU

1. Updates to Apple’s iOS 17: While the introduction of the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) architecture in iOS 14 changed the face of targeted advertising, iOS 17 included another subtle but significant change — link tracking protection.

In short, say goodbye to click data.

What does the release of iOS 17 mean for agencies?

cross-campaign tracking is now even more challenging, and demonstrating the worth of your efforts necessitates new ways. 

For agencies, you must be able to provide value and demonstrate ROI. We rely on click IDs for Google and Meta advertising campaigns. The loss of that data makes data collecting less precise, as well as our capacity to communicate outcomes and make judgments more difficult. 

The good news is that Safari is only used by around 30% of global users. Check your analytics to see the percentage of visitors to your own site to gain a better understanding of the impact.

2. The demise of Google Chrome Cookies: Google’s plan to phase out third-party cookies was disappointing news, but it was one that we had been aware of for some time. Unfortunately, the moment has arrived, with Chrome phasing out in Q1 2024.


  • Google will block third-party cookies in Chrome for 1% of users starting in early 2024.
  • This is the initial phase of removing third-party cookies entirely by mid-2024.

Marketing companies will no longer be able to obtain cross-site tracking data without limitations due to the deprecation of third-party cookies, which is a crucial component in demonstrating the effectiveness of campaigns.

What effects will the deprecation of Google Chrome cookies have on agencies?

Loss of Cross-Site Tracking Accuracy: Users are less able to be tracked easily across several websites when third-party cookies are absent. Maintaining the fine-grainedness of user behavior insights presents a difficulty for advertisers, which impacts the accuracy of targeted advertising.

Decreased Personalization Accuracy: Marketers who mostly rely on user data for customized advertising may find it difficult to cope with the deprecation. It gets harder to target customized material to particular consumers, which could result in less precise and effective advertising.

Attribution Modeling Complexity: Without the constancy that third-party cookies offer, tracking user activities and assigning conversions will become more difficult. To comprehend and demonstrate to customers the efficacy of advertising campaigns, marketing agencies in particular might need to make investments in various attribution models.

3. Google and Yahoo Spam Filters Update: Two significant improvements were introduced by Google and Yahoo with their email spam filter update: a 0.3% complaint rate threshold and the requirement for digital email signatures. 

  • A summary is provided below: E-mail signatures must be digital. DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) is required for digital signature for senders with more than 5,000 emails. Although it hasn’t been mandated until recently, this is already a great practice. 
  • A 0.3% rate of complaints. Being blocked is now possible for complaints with a rate higher than 0.3%. Instead of unsubscribing, a user files a complaint when they mark an email as spam. 

By lowering unsolicited or irrelevant emails in users’ inboxes and improving privacy settings, Google and Yahoo are taking the initiative to improve user experience with these upgrades. 

What effects do the modifications to Yahoo and Google’s email filters have on agencies?

Marketing companies are currently up against more stringent requirements for inbox placement as a result of Google and Yahoo’s upgrades to their email spam filters. Email marketing companies need to be aware that messages that used to flow straight into the inbox are now scrutinized more closely.

The difficulty is ensuring that valid, useful material does not become entangled in the crossfire of these tight filters. It also implies that you must concentrate on lowering or preventing spam complaints, which results in better emails. 

Here are a few more suggestions to help you reduce spam complaints:

  • Provide explicit unsubscribe choices.
  • Include a number of unsubscribe links in your emails. 
  • Use shorter, more engaging outreach cadences.
  • Increase the number of outreach communication channels. 
  • Create smaller, more focused audiences.
  • Personalize and segment your email outreach

Adhering to these new regulations requires you to encourage user involvement, be transparent, and provide value to your users.

4. Google’s Decision to Discontinue Use of Old Email Addresses: Inactive Google accounts were terminated on December 1, 2023. Account information, including images, messages, calendar appointments, Drive documents, and even YouTube movies, are included.

According to Google, an account that hasn’t been used in a long is more likely to be hacked.  If an account hasn’t been used or logged in to for at least two years, Google may destroy the account and all of its information to lower this risk. Google may delete your account if you haven’t signed in since 2021.

You may relax if you’re concerned that someone might recover your deleted account because Google stated that once an account is destroyed, it cannot be recreated using that Gmail address.

What does agencies’ Google email deletion mean?

Not very much in the big picture. But it may affect your email marketing campaigns—more precisely, email deliverability. 

For instance, your bounce rate will increase significantly if you don’t routinely clean your email lists and find that a large percentage of your contacts have been removed. Elevated bounce rates might negatively impact your efforts by reducing email deliverability. 

Consider the following best practices to maintain the cleanliness of your lists:

  • Consistent Email List Management: Establish procedures to find and eliminate out-of-date email addresses, guaranteeing that campaigns connect with recipients who have current, working contact details.
  • Promote Updates to Your Email List: Use techniques like targeted advertising or newsletters made especially to ask subscribers for their most recent contact details.
  • Leverage Multi-Channel Engagement: To stay in touch with consumers who might be less active on their email accounts, check out social media, messaging applications, or other direct contact channels.
  • Run Campaigns for Re-Engagement: To keep your inactive subscribers engaged, ask them to reaffirm their interest in your material again or offer them a reward for updating their email addresses.

Google’s plan to phase away outdated email addresses emphasizes how crucial flexibility is to email marketing. In a world where email addresses are dynamic and prone to change, marketers may position themselves for success by proactively modifying methods and adopting a multifaceted strategy to audience interaction.

5. EU Meta Advertising-Free Subscriptions: Meta is attempting to take all necessary steps to comply with the new regulations and maintain the success of their business while the EU continues to press for privacy.

For agencies, what does Facebook “Ad-Free” mean?

Nothing if your marketing is limited to the US. But, you could start to notice a difference in the effectiveness of your Facebook advertisements if you are selling in the EU. 

It’s important to note that eliminating advertisements costs €9.99 per month, so we don’t expect many people to join the bandwagon.

Nevertheless, the elimination of advertisements implies that marketing firms need to take into account the following:

Change in Targeting Dynamics: The dynamics of audience targeting are affected by the advent of ad-free subscriptions. Advertisers that strongly depend on Meta’s advertising platform could see a change in the demographics of their target market because ad-free customers might have quite different tastes and habits.

Reevaluating Ad Content and Placement: To reach the remaining ad-supported user base, marketers must reevaluate the content and placement of their advertisements. Refinement of targeting parameters, optimization of ad creative, and strategic placement of advertising may be necessary to optimize exposure among users who have chosen the ad-supported model.

Increased Attention to Originality and Quality: The advent of ad-free subscriptions makes the battle for consumers’ attention amongst ad-supported users more fierce. To draw in and hold the interest of people who decide to stay in the ad-supported environment, marketers must improve the caliber and inventiveness of their advertising material.

With Meta leading the way in the EU with its ad-free membership model, marketing agencies need to adjust their approaches accordingly.

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