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Facebook plans to replace cookies with OCPM, a blow to privacy advocates

Facebook is always looking for ways to change the way we use the web, especially if it will benefit them. So it should be no surprise that they want to replace the use of "cookies" with a custom tracking method. Cue the privacy uproar, starting in 10… 9… 8…

As long as there has been website there has been those little text files littered on our computers called "cookies". The idea behind them is that it allowed websites to better personalize your experience as well as a way to keep information that might be needed for the next time you visited a site. Then at some point it was found that these cookies were also a great way to "track" people as they went from site to site, as well as what they did at any given site.

Cookies were an advertiser’s dream and a privacy advocate’s worst nightmare and now Facebook wants to do away with them. The problem is that they want to replace them with something called "Optimized CPM"; which Facebook product manager David Baser detailed in an interview with AdExchanger.

Apparently, the reasoning behind this new OCPM method of tracking comes from the fact that Facebook knows that users who log into the service very rarely log out. This means that, through their Facebook ID, they can be tracked as they travel around the web all day, especially if they click on things like the Facebook Like buttons.

However, that is where there is a difference, as the cookies are "supposedly" anonymous while your Facebook ID is linked directly to who you are on Facebook. Also, cookies are machine dependent which means their usefulness stops at the border of your desktop, laptop, or mobile device. This isn't the case with your Facebook ID as it can follow you from your laptop to your phone and to your desktop.

What Baser, and Facebook, want to do is to target ads at the user IDs which will allow them to easily group users together and be targeted with ads. It is Facebook's findings that these groups, or audiences, have a much higher conversion rate when it comes to advertising than they do with cookie based ad targeting. They are also quick to point out that this OCPM method doesn't allow advertisers to just target "you" with any specific type of ad, but rather the larger group of anonymous "you's".

via Business Insider

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