Google is removing 3rd party cookie support from Chrome, the most popular web browser in the world. Jory Des Jardins, CMO of The @ Company, explains the significance and how the web will begin the change. Also, we dig into the other ways Google is already tracking people via Chrome and why consumers can’t breathe easily just yet.

Tap/Click to Jump To A Segment. Click/Tap For Transcript »

 

Why Do Cookies Matter?

To oversimplify, cookies are essentially mini trackers that web companies place in your browser. Those trackers correspond to data that web companies store on your behavior, activities, and preferences. Often discussed as a nefarious tool, cookies do have good origins. They allow websites to customize your experience and remember your login information.

Consumers started getting concerned, however, when websites started tracking them across the entire internet and re-targeting them eerily accurate ads all across the web.

 

Removing cookies doesn’t end tracking.

Although many consumers are celebrating Chrome’s removal of cookies as the end of tracking, that’s not the case. There are many more effective methods to track users across the internet, especially for Google because their web browser can track you. So, this might not be as good-natured as we think explained data scientist Julien Duhautois of JD Consulting. I reached out to Duhautois for some pre-interview homework.

Jory Des Jardins agrees. Removing 3rd party cookies doesn’t really diminish Google’s ability to track you, but it does diminish other’s ability. Companies like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and whoever else use cookies will be affected. Because Google’s Chrome browser has the largest market share, this gives them a huge advantage in the advertising space.

 

 

What Will Change When Chrome Removes Cookies?

With the removal of 3rd party cookies, what will change? Firstly, you may start seeing more contextual ads instead of irrelevant targeted ads. Because advertisers will have a more difficult time tracking your specific behavior, they will have to advertise based on context.

Instead of seeing an advertisement for shoes on a cooking website, for example, you will likely see cooking pots, knives or pans. Des Jardins explained we will be tracking interests and values instead of individual people. This likely means there will be a heightened need to understand website visitors via valuegraphics instead of demographics. Who knows maybe this will actually increase ad click rates, which are currently 0.5% according to past guest Michael Brenner.

Moving forward the best data a brand can have is Zero-Party data, or permissioned data that can be revoked at any time.

 

Jory Des Jardins of The @ Company

Jory Des Jardin is CMO of The @ Company, a venture capitalist for the W Fund, and previously served as the Head of Global Startup Marketing for Amazon Web Services.

Their company has created a platform that will be the new gatekeeper for your data. The @ Protocol is essentially a digital security guard that gives permission to a website only when they request, and you grant. This is a legal difference, not a tech difference. People can still hold your data, but this tech makes it illegal.

 

Resources

 

 


10-Day Press Guide10-day press guide

Are you an entrepreneur or emerging tech exec who wants more press and web traffic? I'll send a free PDF guide to amplify your brand in 10 days, plus PR/SEO tactics that work for my clients.


 

 


 

Full Transcript

 

Justin Brady:
We all know about cookies. Cookies, not the delicious Oreo cookies that you get—we’re talking about internet cookies today. I know just enough about this topic to be dangerous and mislead you all. So, of course, needed to bring in an expert. Jory Des Jardins, CMO of The @ Company. Thank you so much for coming on the show. I appreciate it.

Jory Des Jardins:
Great to be here.

Justin Brady:
Like I said, I know just enough about cookies to be really dangerous and mislead everybody, so. Chrome is basically getting rid of cookies, but you’ll need to walk me through this because what does that actually mean? They’re getting rid of cookies. This is, of course, Google on the Chrome browser is getting rid of this whole thing. So what exactly does that mean?

Jory Des Jardins:
Right. Well, and let’s clarify because Google is getting rid of third party cookies. So cookies are ways of tracking users in order to know what they’re looking at, and to get additional information from them. And it’s become a very popular way for companies for big tech to track users, but also for them to sell advertising to users. So if I’m a brand advertiser and I want to know what are people looking at? Are they looking at my ad? And what are they doing after they click on that ad? You can use cookies to help define what that user path looks like.

Jory Des Jardins:
And Google is one of the, I mean, they basically created an industry from cookies. They are not the first to get rid of cookies. There are other browsers that have done this, and have led the path to removing them, but Google is by far the biggest fish in this pond. It’s huge. And the implications across the advertising industry are enormous because now we all have gotten used to cookies whether we like them or not as a way of knowing more about our customer and getting what we call first party data, which is kind of like the holy grail of insights on our customers. And now we’ve got to find another way to do that.

Justin Brady:
Okay. So like I said, I do web stuff and content strategy. So I know just enough, but can you give us a very broad overview of I know what a cookie is. I think everybody probably knows what a cookie is, but can you give us an example of just how it works in a nutshell? That might be unfair to ask you that, but maybe you can do a better job than I can.

Jory Des Jardins:
Well, it’s interesting because I come at this as a former, an expat of a media company and I was not the technical lead on this sort of thing. I just knew that cookies were insights, and cookies were a way of capturing, collecting data on customers, on users, on browsers, on people that were checking out the content so that I could make better decisions about the advertising. So there is a whole backend to this about how the data is captured. And that has been part of the reason why people have decided, well, this is not the best user experience. There’s a lot behind that experience that have not only become an infraction to privacy, but have also made the experience for the user not as optimal. A great example of that is a technique that we all have probably experienced, but didn’t know what it was called. It’s called retargeting in the industry.

Justin Brady:
Right. Yeah.

Jory Des Jardins:
It’s when you are on a site and you’re shopping and maybe you buy something, maybe you don’t, but for the next 10 years after you visited that site you will see those products that you were browsing following you on multiple sites.

Justin Brady:
Right.

Jory Des Jardins:
And it used to be sort of a subtle thing where, oh, my goodness, on this one site that I went to, I noticed that those products are following me, but now because the industry has consolidated, it’s following you everywhere. You could go to your Yahoo mail, your Gmail. You could go to any site because most of these sites no longer sell their own advertising. Programmatic advertising is now pretty much across the board the way that ads are getting sold, unless you’re a very, very large digital media property, like The New York Times. So you see this all the time and now it feels like everybody is watching you. It’s an experience that has really creeped out the general public.

Justin Brady:
Right. I always feel like somebody’s watching me. Who writes that song? I forget now. I was going to Google it, but.

Jory Des Jardins:
Rockwell. I looked it up.

Justin Brady:
Did you?

Jory Des Jardins:
Yes.

Justin Brady:
That’s so good.

Jory Des Jardins:
Well, I have to share the reason why.

Justin Brady:
Okay. Yeah, go ahead.

Jory Des Jardins:
My company, The @ Company, we’re a company that is trying to recreate the experience for users online. And we call them people, by the way, they’re not users. They are people who use the internet and we created a Spotify list just to show there’s so many songs out there around surveillance. And, of course, the first one that came to my mind was that song. And I said, oh, my gosh, that one with Michael Jackson, I’ve got to go look it up.

Justin Brady:
That’s so funny. Okay. So the way I understand it is a cookie is essentially one website will leave an itsy-bitsy little file in my browser in that folder on my computer. And so every time I go to a website where that company controls either an advertising space, or has a contract with the company, it scans my computer, finds that file and identifies me as the same person. That’s an oversimplification, but is that kind of what’s going on?

Jory Des Jardins:
Well, it looked at your user ID, so we all have individual IDs online, and it tracks that ID across the internet.

Justin Brady:
Right. Okay. So does re-targeting, I want to get into how this practically affects corporate websites, advertisers, and that kind of thing, but are we basically looking at the end of retargeting then? My guess is no, but what do you say on that?

Jory Des Jardins:
Oh boy. I have seen about 50 different versions of how this is going to play out. Everyone is trying to figure this out. I will say that there will be less of it because Google is the largest, I would say, the largest third party cookie collector, but there are other browsers out there. Others that will use cookies. They won’t be as pervasive because they’re not as big. They also don’t have quite the technological prowess as a Google does. So there will be some forms of it. There are, also, I guess, I would call them lesser forms of surveillance that other companies are going to employ. So an example would be there’s a form of AI targeting, AI surveillance. It still captures your data, but what it does instead of tracking you directly and saying, okay, this is Justin on this site reviewing this ad, it lumps you into a lot of other profiles and says, okay, this particular profile looks like these profiles. And so we’re going to serve him these ads because many people like him are also interested in these ads.

Justin Brady:
Interesting.

Jory Des Jardins:
So it’s a form of lesser surveillance, but surveillance, nonetheless.

Justin Brady:
Okay. So here’s a question. How do I phrase this? The founder of JD Consulting, Julien Duhautois , I kind of asked him a few questions about data analytics and tracking and analysis. And he said, “Chrome has a 65% market share.” And some people including him, kind of think that Google already has a lot of better ways to track people than cookies. They have the browser that has the market share. So isn’t this just an attempt to squeeze out competition like Facebook, LinkedIn, to some more Google ads because they already have better ways of tracking people?

Jory Des Jardins:
So I think you’ve nailed the other argument that people are making, which is, this is revolutionary for anyone not Google.

Justin Brady:
Yeah.

Jory Des Jardins:
Google will continue to do what Google does, which is employee these cookies, but for itself and will maintain its use of that data. There are a number of projects happening within Google. And depending on who you ask, I will tell you that the founders of The @ Company are a little skeptical of them because it still maintains surveillance, and it is still in the hands of Google. There’s something called the Privacy Sandbox, which Google has initiated. And it’s a number of solutions and people who are talking about other ways of capturing this kind of data, other forms of data, but it still is part of Google. So just realize that with 60 plus percent of the market share on a browser, you’re still going to be tracked by somebody if you’re using the Chrome browser.

Justin Brady:
And apparently in possibly more sophisticated ways than before.

Jory Des Jardins:
Yes.

Justin Brady:
So, okay. I know everyone is familiar with the little pop-ups that we go onto websites, like, we have cookies. You have to click to accept to use our website. So weren’t we kind of already giving people the option? Why do we need to change outside of the suspected Google is trying to tilt the scale more in their favor? You mentioned other browsers have done this already. Well, what’s the point because there is a good use for cookies and we’re already giving notifications to people telling them we’re going to put a cookie on their browser, so why? Why make the move? We’re already kind of at a place where people control their data. Right?

Jory Des Jardins:
Well, so I think that is a form of surveillance that we’ve become used to, but it still is a form of surveillance.

Justin Brady:
Sure.

Jory Des Jardins:
So I think what you’re referring to is when you go to a website and you see this, hi, we collect cookies, just so you know, and accept this experience, or don’t come. So you, basically, except the experience, that’s not really a choice. And I think that there are privacy advocates whose voices have become louder over the years, who have said, “That’s not a choice. I should be able to browse and opt out of cookies altogether.” Now there’s different forms of this surveillance. I can tell you on our website we had a very long debate about this given that we’re a privacy-based company, do we have this pop-up where we say, okay, we are following you, but we’re not going to track you. And that’s a very different, believe it or not, form of surveillance.

Justin Brady:
Yeah, how do you phrase that?

Jory Des Jardins:
So there’s two kinds of surveillance. One is the kind that we’re talking about with cookies and advertisers where we are looking at where you’re going, and we’re taking those insights and we’re using them to serve you other products. This is also a form of surveillance that Facebook gets a lot of pushback on. You may have seen The Social Dilemma, which is a film on Netflix.

Justin Brady:
Yes.

Jory Des Jardins:
Yes. Well, it really opened up a lot of people’s eyes to what this looks like. In the case of Facebook, they track and they use these insights to serve you experiences that are likely to keep you on the platform. So that is we look at cholesterol, good cholesterol, bad cholesterol, that is considered bad surveillance. That’s the kind that a lot of people are really freaked out by. There is a form of surveillance that some people mind less, others don’t care for it at all and consider it all bad surveillance.

Jory Des Jardins:
And that is user data, which is to see where you’re clicking to see if users that go to this page, are they going to this other page as I intended them to? And so that’s just tracking their user habits. We don’t track it to any one individual. That’s just in essence, I’m not saying, oh, look at where Justin went. We look at it as, oh, this particular user went from here to here to here. And that helps me to improve the site experience. And people who are privacy advocates who still use, or employ cookies, use it for that purpose, but again, there are purists who say, hey, it’s still surveillance, and I don’t care for any of it.

Justin Brady:
Right.

Jory Des Jardins:
The whole debate behind the cookies and behind having that box it’s very complicated because there are different reasons why people don’t like them.

Justin Brady:
Yeah.

Jory Des Jardins:
Personally, I think it’s not really a choice. And that’s why I don’t care for it. You’re still tracking me. You’re still not giving me a choice. You’re just telling me about it upfront.

Justin Brady:
Yeah. And so, I mean, I’ll disagree just a little bit, just a little, because I do think once you know, once you see The Social Dilemma, once you see this information, you do know you’re being tracked on certain applications, and certain websites. So you do have the choice to not use them. And the example I give is Facebook. I noticed some creepy ads and I deleted my Facebook page because I thought, “No, I’m not going to be a part of this.” That being said, there are ways they still track you. And so I do understand the argument from that side, but I want to get into what you just mentioned.

Justin Brady:
You mentioned site experience and improving site experience. And because I’ve worked with developers before, there are times for clients we put cookies in there and we didn’t track anyone, but it was for login purposes, and to remember their preferences on the website, and that kind of thing. So there is a good site experience argument to be made here. Does site experience change? And then the other question is, do we start to see less and less free products? Because the reason the products are free is because they’re getting our data. So do we see a lot of free products go to charged models? And do we see less and less of that stuff? Does experience change?

Jory Des Jardins:
So, again, this is going to be really interesting over the next six months. It depends on who you ask, but my personal opinion is that, yes, we will see, I think, fewer of the pervasive advertising, fewer of, I don’t know, I call it the billboards, when people are billboarding these ads and you see them all over the place.

Justin Brady:
Yeah.

Jory Des Jardins:
I think there will be more targeted and contextual ads. I’m going to go back about 10, 12 years when programmatic advertising was first really becoming prominent, and there was a massive shift then because programmatic in essence allowed buyers, or advertisers to buy all of these ads en masse, and target them based on the data of the user. It had nothing to do with the actual publication. And that was huge for publishers like us. I was at a website. I had co-founded a company called BlogHer and we ran advertising across thousands of blogs.

Jory Des Jardins:
And some of these blogs were about food, or about parenting, or about name the topic du jour, and of interest. And it changed everything because we could no longer target it based on the topic of that blog. It was now about whose looking at that blog. Do they have 2.5 kids? Do they live in Denver? Are they looking for a new dentist? So all of a sudden that changed and we had no control over that at all. And we noticed that now the market has shifted. We can’t sell these ads at a price that we think is fair. They are going to be sold at the price that the market determines based on this programmatic advertising and the marketplaces that were evolving. And we started to see a very different user experience.

Jory Des Jardins:
You start to see ads that aren’t necessarily related to what the site is about anymore. No more premium ads. It’s more about the users and the user ID. So that experience, I think, is going to be reduced. I think we’ll see less of this. Why is this ad on this site? Because it will be more contextual. I don’t think advertising is going away. There still needs to be brand awareness. It’s funny. I was having a conversation with a former advertiser that I worked with for years, very large Fortune 100 advertiser who, when I asked him this very question, what do you think will happen? He said, “We still need to sell products. And people still need to know who we are.”

Justin Brady:
Right.

Jory Des Jardins:
So we may have to employ new ways of capturing first party data and the insights on our customers, but we still need to message to them, otherwise, how do they know that we’ve just released this new brand of deodorant, or we have this new model of car out there in the market? So that part, I think, will still continue, but will be more contextual. Will be more around associated with powerful content and not be so tied to, oh, we actually have the user address, and know that this person is shopping for a car.

Justin Brady:
Yeah, I mean, so we’re still tracking people. It’s just a different way to track people. David Alison, previous guest, would kill me if I said that, or maybe not. We’re basically demographically, and value graphically tracking people in giant categories. Would that be a fair assessment?

Jory Des Jardins:
By contextual, I had not really thought of it as tracking people. I think we’re tracking interests and we’re tracking groups when we go back to the context, but sure, I mean, it takes now a bit of a backtrack to the early 2000s when websites were, oh, this is a food site. So we’ll start to see more food advertising than we did before, right.

Justin Brady:
Okay. So moving into actual products then like Facebook is creating a website because they want your data. Are we going to see less free products, and more paid products?

Jory Des Jardins:
So that’s already happening. Witness the huge growth in Substack users, and subscription-based. It’s interesting. I did maybe five years ago, most of my reading, and most of my materials, my daily reading were free. Now, I think all of it is pretty much under subscription at this point.

Justin Brady:
Yeah, me too.

Jory Des Jardins:
Say for my Google alerts, which kind of points me wherever, but most of my reading that I do are now subscriptions. I think that it was such a quantum shift because there was so much decent free content available when we had much more free-flowing advertising markets, but programmatic actually put a bit of a damper on the value of the advertising. It was more efficient for the advertiser, but not so much for the publisher. So publishers had to already start rethinking what they were going to do to recoup the cost of good content.

Justin Brady:
Yeah. Okay. So you call there’s a next version of this whole thing of tracking people, and doing it an ethically way, hopefully, hopefully, an ethically way. And I think is it called zero party data? Is that what you call it?

Jory Des Jardins:
Well, this is something that internally we had developed. I’ll give you just a quick overview of what The @ Company is doing because it explains what zero party data is.

Justin Brady:
Yeah, absolutely. We definitely want to get into that for sure.

Jory Des Jardins:
Yeah. So The @ Company, we are a company that is, we’re a bunch of, we call ourselves internet optimists. We still love the internet. We just know that it’s been flawed after how many years and attempts to try to monetize it in so many different ways. And we’re starting to feel the effects of that. Witness The Social Network, the Social Dilemma, excuse me. I keep calling it The Social Network. And I think that’s a film about Facebook.

Justin Brady:
Yeah, that was also a film.

Jory Des Jardins:
Yeah. That was also a film, but The Social Dilemma, which is the more recent Netflix docudrama told us a lot about where things could go in a not so great way. So we’re starting to rethink what’s happened with the internet. The founders of The @ Company realized, well, if we did this all over again, would we allow companies to take our data and store it? And then use it in ways that we’re not necessarily aware of, or get hacked? And that is the way that it works right now. So they thought about how do we turn this on its head and put people in control of their data. Now this is not an easy thing to solve for.

Justin Brady:
No, absolutely not.

Jory Des Jardins:
Because right now our data is already, like, that horse is out of the barn. Our stuff is already out there, right?

Justin Brady:
Yeah.

Jory Des Jardins:
But let’s pretend for a moment that we have utter control of our data. What would happen then? Advertising would not go away. We still need to know things.

Justin Brady:
I should play chimes right here. Back in, imagine. Sorry.

Jory Des Jardins:
In 1995, right? Before we knew we were being tracked, and I think if we were tracked, no one knew that they were tracking us.

Justin Brady:
Right.

Jory Des Jardins:
It was a sort of, okay, here’s an ad, great. I’m going to click on that. So if that were the case, we would probably still engage online. I mean, it’s still a very convenient medium, entertaining medium, but we would just have more choice over what it is that we see. So the ad company developed something called the App Protocol, which in essence, enables users to own and control their data. And if you were to engage on an application on the App Protocol on the app platform, then everything you do is still in your control.

Jory Des Jardins:
And then you may ask, well, what happens then? How does Amazon sell me stuff if they don’t have access to my data? Well, in essence, the protocol would work this way. Amazon would say through the protocol, it looks like you want to buy something. Can I borrow your credit card number for 30 seconds to process this? And the protocol says, “Yep, sure. I give you permission to do that. Great. You’ve used my credit card number. And now we’re done here.” That data goes back to me, it’s in my ownership. You don’t own it. You don’t keep it. You don’t store it. And we’ve still been able to transact.

Justin Brady:
How do we keep them from actually owning that, and then collecting it in some capacity? Is it kind of like Apple Pay where you’re giving them an encrypted ID? It works one time and then it doesn’t anymore. Is that kind of how this is working? Because they still need to run your credit card, right?

Jory Des Jardins:
Right. So your data is still your data, but the protocol enables the third party to use your data without storing it. So in essence, you’ve given it permission to access your data. Your data is always in your ownership and control. It’s a little mind-bending.

Justin Brady:
Well, okay. So what I’m hearing then is more of a legal definition than a technical definition because technically they could still own it, or not own it, but technically they could still hold it, but legally that’s problematic. Is that a fair assessment?

Jory Des Jardins:
That’s a fair assessment.

Justin Brady:
Okay.

Jory Des Jardins:
Fair assessment because I’m sure they could hack it and hold onto it.

Justin Brady:
Right.

Jory Des Jardins:
That’s not how the protocol works.

Justin Brady:
The big problem is that people are legally doing this right now. And if it’s e-legal, that means you can take them to court. That means you can sue them. That means you can go get him.

Jory Des Jardins:
That’s right.

Justin Brady:
Yeah. Okay. So here’s another question, again, because I’m approaching this from I have enough knowledge to be dangerous and mislead everybody. Well, if we’re technically owning the data, is there any way for us, well, so is the data Amazon, or another company, the data they are given is that data less accurate because I’m kind of controlling it, or you’re controlling it on my behalf, or something? Do we have a data accuracy problem?

Jory Des Jardins:
Well, the data accuracy problem stems from them holding onto data that may or may not still be accurate. And that’s a big problem. In fact, it was a really eye-opening conversation that our founders, they went to a conference and the CIO of Bank of America was speaking at this conference. And he said, “By the way, we don’t necessarily want to own your data.” Think about the cost and the liability for companies. For one thing, they have to make sure it doesn’t get hacked. And many of them fail at that, but also people don’t update their data. How many times have you? I know every time I check into my Bank of America website, I’m asked, would you please update your data?

Justin Brady:
That’s true.

Jory Des Jardins:
That’s the last thing I want to do right now. I just want to go in and pay my bill and then be done with it. So it’s a problem. And it’s costing banks, any institution that captures data a lot of money. In fact, just for GDPR compliance, which is another issue that companies are dealing with, companies are paying well over $1,000, between 1,000 and $2,000 per user, just to ensure that they are GDPR compliant. And that means that now there’s a new layer customers can ask for their data back. And, currently, even though you are legally obligated to provide customers with their data, it’s not possible. It’s really hard to have to go and capture the right instance of that data, and make sure there’s no copies of that instance. And to provide it back to the customer. Just to hear our founders talk about what that looks like from a technical standpoint it’s mind-boggling.

Justin Brady:
Basically, what you’re doing, and this is kind of funny things come full circle, right? Is you’re almost taking us back in a good way, in a good way. You’re almost taking us back to the 1970s, or the ’80s maybe where I present you with my credit card, you run it. And then I take my credit card back.

Jory Des Jardins:
Right.

Justin Brady:
To a point there’s a flaw in that metaphor, or that example, obviously, but you’re almost taking it back where we present it. We take it back. It’s like a digital ID thing. Now I do know companies like Microsoft have tried this in the past. They kind of tried to do passports and stuff like that, and they couldn’t get it going. So was it just too early? And does a company like yours, The @ Company, do you guys need to get 100% market to make this work, or will we have a bunch of companies trying to provide virtual IDs?

Jory Des Jardins:
Well, and there still are companies trying to do this. And the virtual ID is one piece of what we do. A lot of people if you had to put it into a category, single sign-on is one piece of that.

Justin Brady:
Right.

Jory Des Jardins:
And for those who are not as familiar with that, single sign-on, think of Facebook Connect. Right now if you want to get on a website and you have the option of, oh, well, let me click on my Facebook Connect, or my Google version, we’ll sign you on so you don’t have to remember your password everywhere you go. The problem is they now have access to your data and are using that data. So there’s a lot of work being done around how do we make single sign-on ethical without tracking, which is really difficult to do, but also it wasn’t built to be completely unsurveilled. There’s a new wave of companies that are trying to do that ethically, but you bring up an interesting question, which is sort of like the big existential question about what we want to do in the world. I don’t think there’s going to be 100%, especially now, but in general, I still think there’s use for the Googles and the big tech of the world.

Justin Brady:
Right.

Jory Des Jardins:
I mean, this is great technology, but I think that by providing alternatives to how we can manage the data, there will be some that completely convert over and say, “I don’t these companies interacting with my data. So I’m going to go for these alternative methods.” And there will be others who because they’ll move some of it over, maybe their banking, or maybe certain aspects of their data that will force big tech to say, “Well, wait a minute. Maybe we need to offer an alternative as well, an unsurveilled, completely unsurveilled alternative.” So, yeah, we would love to get more people using our alternative options, but I think it’s going to be a mix.

Justin Brady:
So at the end of the day, though, your job as CMO is to make sure your brand is trustworthy because it still does come down to a brand. I don’t want to use the word controlling, but managing that data. So at the end of the day, you guys need to be 100% transparent, really open, and you need to kind of walk back a lot of the insecurities. You need to walk back the fact that people have been hurt and you guys need to be that trusted source.

Jory Des Jardins:
Yes.

Justin Brady:
Before I let you go. One really quick thing. If there’s one thing companies, people who really rely on web traffic, and user experience, if there’s one thing they need to start transitioning, or start focusing on right now, one actionable step they can take right now, what do they need to be doing to get ahead of this, and start to build that trust?

Jory Des Jardins:
First, they need to know what their footprint looks like. So there are partners of ours and companies that we’ve been exploring that help to identify what your digital footprint looks like, and can help you remove your data from those. So a company that we all know and love at The @ Company is called Mine. The website is I believe it’s Mine, M-I-N-E. And if you sign up for Mine, you can input your information and they will show you, well, here’s who has your data right now. And most of these companies, hopefully, all of them are ones that you have explicitly given your data to, but there’s also many that you will not be aware of because your data is often sold, or hacked, or what have you, that helps you identify where there are vulnerabilities. And then you can make some decisions for yourself around, well, where do I want to keep that data?

Jory Des Jardins:
You may want, as you did, to remove your accounts like with Facebook. You may think that there’s too much exposure there, but first make those calls based on what you know. I think right now there’s so much misinformation and confusion around how this works that people are having a bit of a panic reaction and just witnessed how in January when WhatsApp had decided, okay, we’re going to make a tiny shift to our business terms and conditions there was a 40 million customer migration to Signal, which was the surveillance free alternative chat.

Justin Brady:
Wow.

Jory Des Jardins:
And so not that I want to give everyone all the credit in the world for this. Signal has been around for a long time, but all of a sudden it got this because people were panicked. And because there is so much misinformation about, oh, Facebook and The Social Dilemma. And, actually, WhatsApp was not making that big of a shift. They were just saying, “Hey, for some of our business customers, they may need to know some information, so we may need to reveal that for them, but otherwise everything is encrypted, and we don’t have access to your data.” That was enough, though, to get people freaked out and to move things over.

Justin Brady:
So what I’m hearing is be very clear, be very transparent and share, basically, tell people what your mission is and what you’re doing about it, and keep the communication open is what I’m hearing. Jory Des Jardins, CMO of The @ Company. Thank you very much for coming on the show and enlightening me and all the listeners. I really appreciate it. Fascinating stuff.

Jory Des Jardins:
My pleasure.


 

10-Day Press Guide10-day press guide

Are you an entrepreneur or emerging tech exec who wants more press and web traffic? I'll send a free PDF guide to amplify your brand in 10 days, plus PR/SEO tactics that work for my clients.


 

 

Thank you for contacting me!


10-Day Press Guide10-day press guide

Are you an entrepreneur or emerging tech exec who wants more press and web traffic? I'll send a free PDF guide to amplify your brand in 10 days, plus PR/SEO tactics that work for my clients.