This week Adobe Inc. released some updated software for companies to target customers with advertising and offers using the brands’ own data as opposed to third-party cookies. More and more, third-party cookies are being eliminated from websites due to consumer concerns regarding unwanted tracking across the internet. Many web browsers already block third-party cookies, and soon even Google Chrome will block them. The new Adobe platform, Real-time Customer Data, will let its customers ask consumers for permission to use their information. With this new software, a consumer will likely see clearer information about how a website uses their data and why they are being shown certain personalized experiences.

Another reason the traditional third-party tracking cookies are on their way out is that companies that collect large volumes of data through their own services (i.e., Facebook or Google) do not typically share that data with others who want to use it for their own advertising purposes. Over half of the customers Adobe surveyed about their data use said that they often do not know the type of data collected and stored in disparate systems. The software will use first-party data to get a more complete profile about consumers. It also will allow different companies to share certain non-sensitive data to personalize the products they pitch.

The downside to this software may be that it is more complex than just allowing third-party cookies to collect data and then simply purchasing that data. However, this is a step towards stronger privacy protections for consumers.