Google Restricts User Information Advertisers Can Access

On the latest episode of the E-Commerce Retail Briefing podcast:

After facing scrutiny over data privacy, Google is making changes to what advertisers can see.

  • Wayfair announced the launch of its updated mobile app featuring an augmented reality tool. According to the company’s press release, the feature is designed to help customers visualize how furniture will fit in their spaces. On the updated Wayfair app, users can now virtually place furniture in their rooms, visually search for and buy items they see and create three-dimensional rooms to see layouts from different angles. In the press release, Wayfair said the new features were added as it redesigned the entire Wayfair app to create a more user-friendly experience for customers. The updates may be beneficial to the company as more than half of its customers place orders using mobile devices.
  • Lululemon is slated to open an experiential store at the Mall of America on November 20th. The format is modeled on the experiential concept the company opened in Chicago earlier this year. The new store is designed to offer customers an elevated retail experience. In addition to a broad assortment of men’s and women’s products, the store will feature an eatery serving healthy food and beverages. The location will also feature studio spaces where customers will be able to participate in yoga and other events.
  • According to Bloomberg, DoorDash has raised another $100 million in funding. The new round of funding values the company at nearly $13 billion. The new financing includes investments from T. Rowe Price and is said to be an extension of the food delivery company’s most recent $600 million funding round.

Google Restricts Information Advertisers Can Access

According to Google, the search giant will now stop telling advertisers what categories of websites users are visiting. The change is a result of European data protection authorities that have said Google’s real-time ad auctions violate European Union privacy laws. The changes will affect the process behind the electronic auction that happens when users load a website, determining what ads they’ll see. In that time, hundreds of potential bidders can find out information, including location, unique mobile device number, and even whether they’ve been reading about a certain subject. After the changes take effect in February, advertisers will still have access to data like locations and device numbers, but not the contextual data about the website on which the ad would appear. 

In a statement, Google said the changes resulted from discussions with data protection authorities. It also comes at a time when the company is facing scrutiny as the largest global digital advertisement player. A spokeswoman from a U.K. data protection authority said, “Google’s announcement is an important statement of intent and we look forward to seeing what practical impact it will have on Google’s operating model and the industry more widely.”