How to track user behaviour in a cookieless world!

Google's Tracking Announcement

In 2020, Google made a groundbreaking announcement – the end of third-party cookies in its Chrome browser by 2023. Since then, they’ve continued their aim to being more privacy-conscious by migrating 1% of Chrome users to ‘Privacy Sandbox’ (Starting in early 2024) which will phase out third-party cookies and limit covert tracking by the second half of 2024.

This has left countless businesses wondering what comes next for tracking user behaviour without them! Fortunately, innovators are already starting to think outside the cookie jar with creative approaches that will help you stay on top of trends and tailor your offerings even after cookies have become extinct. It’s time to set sail into uncharted territory – let’s explore some exciting new options together!


What are third-party cookies?

Third-party cookies are created by domains outside of the one you are visiting and can pose a threat to your privacy. These entities may track and store information about your browsing activity on multiple webpages, then use this data for targeted advertising based on these activities. As such, third-party cookies should be considered an invasion of privacy that needs to be managed carefully.

Websites store essential info about your interactions through first-party cookies. Think of them as keeping a record in order to provide you with personalised preferences and smoother experiences – like remembering login details or optimizing the display for improved visibility! In comparison to third parties, these are considered more trustworthy & secure; since they come directly from the website itself.

How are first-party cookies used?

Authentication – A useful tool that keeps your data secure. When you log in to any website, it stores the necessary credentials in an encrypted cookie for easy access without having to sign-in again each time.

Data Protection
User Preferences

User Preferences – Tailoring the website to your unique needs, first-party cookies can take into account a variety of preferences so you have an enjoyable and convenient experience

Analytics – Anonymous analytics are a powerful tool that many websites use to enhance their user experience. By gathering anonymous data on how visitors interact with the website, businesses can gain insight and make improvements.

Anonymous Analytics

Personalisation – Add a personalised touch to your online experience! Cookies can be used by websites like news sources to track what articles are meaningful and relevant for you. Think of it as an algorithm tailored just for you, designed to make sure that the content presented will be both engaging and informative.

What tools can be used to track first-party cookies?

1. Server-side Tracking

Server-side tracking examines user behaviour behind the scenes – using an internal database rather than cookies. Allowing a more comprehensive view of how users interact with your website or app, so you can better understand and optimize their experience.

Unlike cookie-tracking, which stores user information locally on their device, server-side tracking processes data wholly in the cloud. This not only reduces website clutter for a more efficient experience but also ensures that sensitive personal info stays secure since it isn’t stored directly to the visitors’ computers.


Website owners can ensure their site’s success by collecting and scrutinizing data on the server. This information will help them gain visibility into how customers engage with their website or app, as well as which pages are the most sought-after. Plus, access to key performance indicators allows business owners to make informed decisions that optimize user experience.

Server Side Tracking Analytics
Google Ads PPC Targeting

Ad Targeting

Server-side tracking unlocks data for unprecedented levels of marketing precision. By utilising behaviour patterns across multiple websites and apps, brands can develop targeted advertising campaigns that speak directly to the needs of individual consumers.

Fraud Detection

Using sophisticated pattern analysis, fraud can be identified and put a stop to before it takes hold. This could include identifying bots clicking on adverts or discovering fake accounts attempting to manipulate data.

Fraud Detection
Advantages of SST

Advantages of SST

Better performance: Server-side tracking allows your website or application to elevate its performance, enabling shorter load times and a smoother user experience! By reducing the amount of data sent from device to server, you can revolutionize how quickly end users access content on your platform.

Improved Security: With SST, data is stored on a secure remote server instead of being located on the user’s device – making it much harder for malicious actors to access and exploit. This improved security helps protect against data breaches or other dangerous vulnerabilities.

More control over data: Gain greater ownership of your data – server-side tracking provides a secure and reliable way to stay in charge. This method stores the collected information on a remote server, giving you full authority over what is accessed and stored.

Potential Disadvantages of SST

Limited Data Collection: Server-side tracking offers a more restricted view of user behaviour than its counterpart, client-side. Although this limits the amount of data collected for analysis purposes, server side is crucial in helping to make informed decisions about your users’ engagement with your site.

More complex setup: Businesses who desire to track more complex data may encounter a technical obstacle, as server-side tracking necessitates an advance understanding of maintenance and setup procedures.

Limited third-party integratons: Server-side tracking is not as flexible when it comes to connecting with third parties, so you may miss out on some of the analytical and marketing tools available. That could limit your ability to get the most from them.

Disadvantages of SST

2. Fingerprinting

Fingerprinting works similarly but creates a unique identifier for each device based upon characteristics like IP address or browser version

Browser fingerprints are typically based on information such as:

  • The browser type and version
  • The operating system and device type
  • The screen resolution and colour depth
  • The installed fonts and language settings
  • The time zone and IP address


Browser fingerprinting is a complex method of tracking which uses publicly available data to compile and create a highly individualized identifier. This means that online activity can be tracked, even if different devices are being used or the user connects from various locations.

Unfortunately, blocking such scripts and cookies in order to prevent this type of monitoring is easier said than done as it could potentially hinder website performance; however privacy-friendly extensions exist with the purpose of masking collected information – providing users some freedom over their own digital footprint.

3, Consent Management Platform (CMP)

What are the best CMPs?

With a Consent Management Platform, website owners can easily keep track of the latest data-driven decisions and remain informed. CPMs provide users with options to allow or deny behavioral tracking on their site; while this may not always deliver extensive details, it is still beneficial for achieving all your marketing objectives.

With a wide range of consent management platforms (CMPs) available, it’s important to take into account the unique needs and regulations for your website. Whether you’re more concerned with user experience or technical capabilities, finding the right CMP can make all the difference in creating an effective privacy policy.

One Trust

OneTrust is a powerful privacy management platform that empowers large organizations to manage compliance with various regulations. It comes packed with cutting-edge features, such as customizable solutions, comprehensive integrations and advanced reporting capabilities; allowing users to quickly and easily meet their data protection requirements.

One Trust CMP Dashboard
Trust Arc CMP Dashboard


TrustArc is an intuitive privacy management platform that delivers a comprehensive suite of solutions to help you stay on top of data protection regulations. Easily customize your consent banners and take advantage of the user-friendly interface for maximum convenience.


Cookiebot is the go-to resource for small and medium businesses looking to stay on top of their privacy compliance game. With Cookiebot, you can streamline your consent management process by customizing banners, scanning cookies for accuracy and control them like a pro– all while adhering to various regulations!

Cookiebot CMP Dashboard
Quant Cast CMP Dashboard


Quantcast empowers companies to take control of their data management and stay compliant with multiple privacy regulations. From custom-designed consent banners to integration with website platforms, Quantcast offers an intuitive suite of features for enhancing user experience without sacrificing security.


Evidon is a great choice for webmasters who need to maintain compliance and manage cookie usage on their sites. It offers an incredibly user-friendly interface, as well as advanced features for reporting and handling multiple third-party vendors.

Evidon CMP Dashboard
Osano CMP Dashboard


Osano is a comprehensive CMP that provides streamlined solutions for managing your website’s consent processes and data processing needs. Whether you are looking to create customisable banners, link up with other management tools or ensure compliance with various privacy regulations – Osano has got it covered! Suited especially for small-to-medium sized businesses, our cutting edge platform offers an array of features designed just for you.


Websites have the potential to gain invaluable insights into user behavior with first-party cookie tracking, allowing them to create better experiences and more effective marketing campaigns. But responsible use of this technology is key – websites must be transparent about their cookie usage and obtain appropriate consent when necessary. Furthermore, it’s essential that all steps are taken by sites to ensure data security so users can trust they’re in safe hands.