'Cross-Channel Cookies,' Is That The Way Consumer Privacy Fears Crumble?

“It’s About Our Customers, Not The Medium” panel moderator Thom Kennon posed an interesting question to his panelists at OMMA Mobile this morning. Kennon, senior vice president of strategy at Y&R, asked how many of them were utilizing “cross-channel cookies” – digital code that could track their consumers’ behavior across mobile, Web and other platforms.

While none of the panelists indicated they had actually cracked that specific code, they did indicate that they were taking steps to triangulate consumer behavior across those platforms, and that, surprisingly, consumers are not reluctant to provide it.

“Consumers are very, very willing to give us a lot of information,” said Josh Glantz, Publishers Clearing House Online, vice president-general manager of Publishers Clearing House Online. Maybe it’s because PCH is offering them the chance to win millions of dollars via sweepstakes offer, or maybe it’s just because people like giving their personal data up to online database marketers, but Glantz implied that consumer privacy may be overblown.

Johann Huber-Gutierrez, director of convergence and mobile strategy at Resource Interactive, agreed, noting that while people typically say, “Omigosh,” when the subject comes up, “The reality is, no, people are willing” to give up their personal data across mobile and Web platforms.

He cited Yelp as a great example of a platform that does a great job of extracting personal consumer data across platforms, but does it in a subtle, albeit sneaky way.

“They’re asking for little bits more, and little bits more,” he said.


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