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Privacy-Centric Digital Advertising: Implications for Research


Yesterday’s digital advertising relied on cross-website and cross-app user identity to measure, target, and optimize ads. Spurred by regulatory pressure, today’s digital advertising is evolving to become more privacy-protective. Apple and Google are leading this movement by sunsetting old technologies and building more privacy-centric alternatives. Marketing academics and practitioners, in turn, must learn to adapt to this new reality. We outline these new advertising approaches and their implications for advertising strategy, targeting, and measurement. We propose key questions and an agenda for researchers to help shape the privacy-centric future of digital advertising.

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  1. Note that Facebook and Mozilla propose an alternative that relies on multi-party computation to permit cross-platform attribution modeling while preserving privacy [50].


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We thank Randall Lewis and Samuel Goldberg for helpful comments. All remaining errors are the authors’ own.

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Correspondence to Julian Runge.

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Competing Interests

Julian Runge was employed at Facebook as a researcher until March 2021. Eric Seufert works as a private consultant advising and investing in multiple online advertising businesses.

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Johnson, G., Runge, J. & Seufert, E. Privacy-Centric Digital Advertising: Implications for Research. Cust. Need. and Solut. 9, 49–54 (2022).

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  • Privacy
  • Digital advertising
  • Advertising measurement
  • Targeting