Tracking without cookies?

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Level 10 - Champion Alumni

Tracking without cookies?

I read an article today on eMarketer, titled "Most Marketers Believe Tracking Cookies Will No Longer Be Needed".  This doesn't surprise me, given the upcoming GDPR legislation and the ease for someone to disable cookies in their browsers.  What was lacking, though, was alternate ways that we will still be able to track people that engage with our digital content/campaigns.  I realize there's been talk of these techniques, for example:

...but I would be interested to hear from others in the community - specifically around your thoughts on the type of technology that will/can be used in lieu of cookies.  Heck, I'd really like to hear from Marketo as well, given how cookies play such an important role in maximizing the capabilities that exist with the Marketo platform.

11 REPLIES 11
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Level 7 - Champion Alumni

Re: Tracking without cookies?

Great question Dan, looking forward to hearing the answer as well.

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Re: Tracking without cookies?

Hi Dan,

Thx for raising the point. I asked the same thing to PM about 2/3 years ago. The answer at this time was that nothing was planned.

-Greg

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Re: Tracking without cookies?

That was not 3 years ago, that was 5 years ago, with one of my previous (never merged) profiles :

-Greg

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Level 10 - Champion Alumni

Re: Tracking without cookies?

Didn't even realize this Idea existed.  Voted!

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Re: Tracking without cookies?

It did. 5 years ago. That's predicting the future, isn't it ?

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Level 10 - Community Moderator

Re: Tracking without cookies?

I think attempting to mirror what persistent (cross-browser-session) cookies do without technically using cookies is surely in violation of the spirit, if not the explicit letter, of privacy laws.

I don't want to be in court saying, "But I used LocalStorage, your honor! You just said I couldn't use document.cookie!"

What I would like to dive into is whether temporary (same-session) client-side tracking is ever legally allowed. That is, has someone opted out of having their click path known across a few pages -- this could be readily done using SessionStorage -- in order to change page content. I'm sure there would be 3 different answers from 3 different lawyers, though.

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Re: Tracking without cookies?

Hi Sanford,

Fully agreed with you, I am pretty sure that a judge would not bother much to make a difference between a cookie and a local storage . My question to PM a long time ago was about the usage of fingerprinting instead of cookies, to remove any need for local storage. But anyhow, your comment remains: this would probably violate the spirit of the laws anyway...

The EU is working on an e-privacy directive that will make the use of Cookies more flexible BUT strictly enforce the compliance to DNT browser settings. I do not know how DNT is really enforced in browsers. Is it "No Cookie at all" or does it means that in sessions cookies are allowed but all cookies are cleansed when the session ends ? I should run a test, but if anyone has ever tried, that would save some time

-Greg

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Level 10 - Community Moderator

Re: Tracking without cookies?

I do not know how DNT is really enforced in browsers. Is it "No Cookie at all" or does it means that in sessions cookies are allowed but all cookies are cleansed when the session ends ? I should run a test, but if anyone has ever tried, that would save some time

DNT's just a HTTP header sent to the server. It's up to the server (and JS served up by the server) whether to treat each cookie as being governed by the DNT policy.

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Re: Tracking without cookies?

And in this case, what does the Marketo setting do ? prevent Munchkin from firing ? make Marketo cookie a session cookie ?

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-Greg