ITP2, GDPR and the future of Webgains tracking

At Webgains, we’ve two core pillars to our business: Service and Reporting. We look after your business, and we make sure we capture all the information needed for you, your partners and your customers.

In 2017, with ITP1 already announced and GDPR on the horizon, we paused and began to take a long look at the way we track users, and how we should do it. In 2018 we set out a new way of working, and we did it properly. Rather than tweak code, or simply colour our legal position, we positioned ourselves clearly, and resolutely, from day one.

Webgains is a Data Processor, and we work with new, consented, first party cookie tracking.

What does this mean?

We don’t process your customer’s, information, or store it, or share it, or use it in any way other than to service our affiliate and merchant relationship promises.

When a user follows a Webgains link, from an affiliate to a merchant, we add a click reference to identify that journey. It does not identify the user, it identifies only the referral from affiliate to merchant.

Our new tracking code allows a first party cookie to be dropped when the user consents on the merchant site. This is either at the point the user lands, or at the point of purchase.

Deploying this new code is extremely efficient, requires minimal effort from our merchant partners, and can be updated without any disruption, at any point in the future.

Is this compliance?

Working with Webgains in this way makes you GDPR compliant. It also sets you up for any possible effect of ITP, or any other blocking of non-consented tracking. We take a W3C approach, looking ahead to ePrivacy also, and are encouraging all of our merchants to get onto our new tracking.

What has ITP done so far to Webgains?

So far, nothing. ITP affects only a limited number of Safari users and, as our new tracking is in place for most major merchants already, we have seen no dropoffs that we can point to as a direct result of ITP for the last year. In fact, every merchant we’ve looked at since June 2017 has increased Safari traffic on iOS.

What about ITP2?

ITP2 reinforces many of the areas we already knew about, which are all about hindering third party tracking. This is something we’re actively moving away from, as indeed we’re assisting dozens of merchants to do every week. We’re not overly concerned with ITP2. Not because it’s not important, but because it’s in the exact same space we are in: working with users to help them own their privacy.

What should I do?

As an affiliate, nothing. There is nothing you need to do as everything happens once the user clicks the referral link. Rest assured that we’re working with our merchant partners to move to the new tracking fast and effectively.

As a merchant, contact us. Speak to your Account Manager today, if you haven’t already, and we’ll get you onto the new tracking in no time, test and confirm your results and ensure you’re as compliant as you could possibly be.