As privacy, analytics tools, and cookies change, where will data be in 2023?

By Elaine Sung


Memphis, Tennessee, United States


Data sharing and the world surrounding it is ever-changing, and it feels as if the wheels spun faster in 2022. 

On the first day of the INMA Product and Data for Media Summit on Tuesday, Ariane Bernard, lead for the INMA Smart Data Initiative, delivered a briefing for 2022, touching on four main topics:

  • Privacy.
  • Analytics.
  • Death of the third-party cookie.
  • Engineering.

Thursday’s module also featured a discussion about top product trends by INMA Product Initiative Lead Jodie Hopperton; Kimmy Bettinger, lead for responsible data ecosystems at the World Economic Forum; Arjun Moorthy, co-founder of The Factual; and Niksa Gopcevic, digital strategist at Syria Media Group. Registration continues throughout the summit.


Data sharing between the United States and the European Union networks was left in limbo in 2020 after a European court ruling in the case of Schrems II (Data Protection Commissioner v. Facebook Ireland Limited, Maximillian Schrems) made Privacy Shield I invalid.

Ariane Bernard, lead of the INMA Smart Data Initiative, explains what changes in privacy laws mean for tech.
Ariane Bernard, lead of the INMA Smart Data Initiative, explains what changes in privacy laws mean for tech.

In September 2022, however, U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order, now known as Privacy Shield 2.0, to address European concerns about data sharing, in particular U.S. intelligence harvesting of European Union citizens’ information.

The new agreement still faces potential roadblocks from lobbyists, activists, and in the courts.

The fallout also is leading to advances in technology changes in browsers, where information is split among servers instead of concentrated in one or keeping specific data in browsers and revealing only generalities. 

“Think of it as, if you’re Netflix, you’re not really getting precise information about what I watched, you’re getting my preference …,” she said.


In this category, Bernard sighed and wanted to describe the situation as a “dumpster fire,” what with Google ending its Universal Analytics suite in July 2023 and going strictly with Google Analytics 4 for digital analytics measurement. 

It is crucial at this point to double-tag your current inforomation or implement Google Analytics 4 immediately. Bernard also suggested building a self-hosted platform, which could be tooled to prediction analytics based on cleaner data.

Death of the third-party cookie

Bernard expressed skepticism of when it will actually meet its death, the current timetable being sometime in 2023.

One option is to go with more logins or with contextual personalisation based on what’s on the page. 

However, more than 65% of publishers polled said they were not planning on more logins, instead mulling first-party data and contextual ad targeting.

Engineering, compliance, and bias

In the “age of maturity,” as Bernard called it, data mesh is necessary to have a decentralised structure, which is directly related to governance and compliance. 

Ariane Bernard explains data mesh and its importance to data infrastructure.
Ariane Bernard explains data mesh and its importance to data infrastructure.

It is vital that individual domains are drawing from the same pool of data. Slight variations of data, or duplicate pools of data, can lead to legal issues. It is essential to protect the data and who can access it. 

Lastly, there is the need to combat algorithm bias: “We have a duty generally — that we’re happy to take on as news organisations — with creating a society with the news gathering we do that reflects reality and not the biases of the engineers and the product managers who worked on it,” Bernard said.

The Product and Data for News Media Summit continues on Tuesdays and Thursdays through November 17. Registration continues throughout the summit.

About Elaine Sung

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