CJ’s Approach to Google’s Parallel Tracking & Firefox Tracking Restrictions

Oct 23, 2018
Written by Angela Ballard

In the last couple of years, we've seen significant changes in tracking technology and in governmental policies around consumers' privacy online, and this trend in policy change is going to continue. Our goal is to ensure our technology continues to support successful partnerships and maintain tracking integrity.

We've developed a suite of solutions for the GDPR to ensure compliance and consumer-privacy, including our Cookieless Tracking solution, that we'll continue to leverage as similar policies arise around the globe so we continue to be a reliable partner and network for our clients.

We've talked a lot about Apple's ITP (Intelligent Tracking Prevention), and released our Cookieless Tracking to maintain uninterrupted visibility into customer purchase behavior across all browsers, including Safari. Following on a similar path as Safari, Firefox recently announced a feature that will prevent cross-site tracking. Just like with Apple ITP 2.0, cross-site tracking prevention will block the ability to read or write tracking cookies to a consumer’s device in a third-party context.

Google’s Parallel Tracking

Google has created a feature for Google Ads (Adwords) called Parallel Tracking that intends to get users to their final destination faster by eliminating potential delays that can be caused by tracking redirects. Parallel Tracking uses the sendBeacon function to execute tracking redirects in browsers, which means these redirects can happen at the same time the user is being taken directly to their final landing page.

This feature restricts the ability for any third-party, including CJ, to control the destination page the user lands on. Parallel Tracking separates the consumer experience from the tracking experience by processing any redirects independently. This means any URL parameters appended to an Advertiser's Destination URL will now be passed in the “sendBeacon” request, and not directly to the landing page.

CJ Has You Covered

Parallel Tracking only applies to Publishers who use Google Ads with CJ links to directly link to an Advertiser's website.

Publishers who have an agreement with an Advertiser that allows for direct linking via Google Ads to the Advertiser’s website, can leverage our simple solution so CJ tracking is maintained.

CJ’s tracking is compatible with additional Parallel Tracking features:

  • Every URL must support HTTPS
    Google is expecting that every URL in a tracking redirect is secure, and if a URL is encountered that doesn't support HTTPS, the redirection is terminated. All of CJ's tracking domains support HTTPS. We recommend confirming your sites also support HTTPS as a best practice.
  • On-page redirects will not function
    Parallel Tracking will terminate redirects at the previous URL when on-page redirects, like JavaScript and HTML redirects, are encountered. CJ uses Server-side redirects in our tracking links, which are the only redirect type supported.
  • Tracking cookies are written in a third-party context
    Any cookies set by third-parties on a redirect are set in a third-party context, and browsers are more restrictive with these redirect types than with first-party cookies. CJ's Cookieless Tracking solution mitigates this issue because we do not rely on cookies in order to track.

More information about Parallel Tracking can be found here, provided by Google.

Firefox Tracking Restrictions

Firefox has also mentioned they plan to prevent device fingerprinting in the future, which poses challenges to some methods of cross-device tracking—however, CJ’s Cross-Device tracking will not be impacted.

CJ's Cross-Device Tracking relies on deterministic data, and never use uses fingerprinting for recognition. Cross-site tracking prevention in Firefox will be released to all users in January 2019 and is available now to Firefox Nightly users.

Commitment to Our Clients

All of these industry and technology changes have made a significant impact on online advertising and the entire digital landscape. We're dedicated to understanding these changes and adapting quickly, and we're committed to developing solutions to ensure continued growth and success for your program and partnerships.

Learn more about CJ’s approach to Google Parallel Tracking for Advertisers and Publishers in our Support Center.

Topics: Innovation
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