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No cookies – keep fit!

Yuriy Velichko
13 Feb 2024
4 mins
No cookies – keep fit!

Recently Postindustria in partnership with MOW and IAB Tech Lab conducted practical and design research on the Privacy Sandbox initiative dedicated to satisfying industry needs after the final deprecation of third-party cookies. 

In this post, we will cover some critical points of this journey and provide you with direct links to the case studies, product and engineering documentation, and industry conclusions based on deep tech analysis.

The general point that we noticed is the volume of upcoming changes. All players in the industry – publishers and advertisers, small and large businesses will have to adapt to the new tools. Even those who do not want to integrate the Privacy Sandbox. And since the number of introduced changes is huge, everyone shouldn’t spend time relying on the other cycle of postponement but start implementing, and experimenting. Now is a perfect time to start prepping your tech stack.

Privacy Sandbox Fit Gap Analysis

As you may have heard, at the beginning of February, the IAB released a document called  Privacy Sandbox – Fit Gap Analysis for Digital Advertising. Postindutia was honored to work on it in partnership with the Movement for an Open Web. We made a technical review of such explainers and specifications as: 

The research and assessment were focused on the industry use cases in the five major areas: 

  • Audience Management – Use cases related to creating, managing, and addressing audiences in partnerships
  • Auction Dynamics – Use cases dealing with offering inventory to buyers, sending material instructions, receiving bids, and selecting a winning bid.
  • Creative & Rendering – Use cases related to Invalid traffic, malware, acquiring assets for display, and ad rendering.
  • Reporting – Use cases related to measuring advertising from request to conversion to lifetime value.
  • Technology and Interoperability – Use cases related to partnerships and collaborations.

The deep tech analysis performed by Postindustria helped to define the real state, possibilities, and usage of the framework and helped to state the business impact in the studied fields:  

  • Audience Management – Media owner audience creation and management is possible albeit quite different from mechanisms used today; however, the ability of brands and their media agencies to create, manage and activate audiences is severely degraded.
  • Auction Dynamics – Traditional ways of running the request/response protocol are entirely different when running Protected Audience Auctions. Programmatic Supply Chain constituents will need to carefully weigh the constrained addressability capabilities provided by the Privacy Sandbox against the ability to do many foundational things in cookieless environments (once deprecated) using traditional OpenRTB.
  • Creative & Rendering – The rendering of static display ads are not impacted. Ad supported video is severely degraded, but there is an alternate path through traditional OpenRTB.
  • Reporting – All aspects of reporting are severely degraded, especially as it pertains to
  • independent validation, troubleshooting potential issues, and billable amounts.
  • Technology and Interoperability – All cases studied in this section are not supported that leads to the huge shifts in the industry.

Of course, you can find more details in the original document that we strongly suggest to read to all industry experts.

Related WebSite Sets (RWS) is one of the frameworks introduced in the scope of Privacy Sandbox which is dedicated to allowing access to third-party cookies for sites that submit their relationship by registering in the list consumed by all browsers. 

In fact, the RWS is a wrapper around the Storage Access API (SAA) with a small extension. SAA, in turn, allows developers to directly prompt the user to enable access to cross-site storage in third-party content. It is similar to Apple’s Application Tracking Transparency framework but even more restricted. To allow access the following conditions must be fulfilled:

  • The user should interact with the page in order to call the prompt dialog. 
  • The user, but actually the browser, should visit the third-party domain that requests access to unpartitioned cookies.

These conditions degrade the UX, and there is no doubt that the vast majority of users won’t give their approval. 

RWS relaxes these conditions for a limited list of websites registered in the canonical set.

So, at the end of 2023, Postindustria and MOW connected the efforts to check how exactly the RWS works in practice and whether it is straightforward to submit your sites.  

We recommend you read the article with screencasts and video demos for the details. Moreover, you can try the work in your browser since the sites are publicly available (see the article for the domains). So don’t be shy and try it on! But in short, we can summarize the following:

  • Using SAA really leads to degraded UX. In the worst case, users have to interact twice and go to the service website before the embedded frame can access the cookies. 
  • RWS, at least in the developer mode, works only for five sites. If you are a multi-brand publisher, advertiser, or other business, the RWS is not for you.
  • Google can block your submission for many reasons (details in the post).   

So, even though the RWS looks like an option for cross-site data sharing, it is hardly usable for big players, at least for now.


The Privacy Sandbox is definitely the game changer in the industry. It is new, it is big, it has a bunch of gaps. But most probably, it is the toolset that everyone in the industry will face, and very soon. We at Postindustria are studying the framework’s pros and cons, integration scenarios, and use cases. We are always happy to connect to help, learn, and grow together.