> To address that, the data science team created new contextual classifications of content, including the emotional tenor of a story, topic targeting and the motivations that audiences felt after reading an article.
> With the absence of the third-party cookie, Murphy said that data will become more important, but the methodologies behind understanding the data and pin-pointing accuracy will change from the previous model.
If anything their tracking and collection of personal data and preferences is increasing.
As a funny anecdote my American father refuses to to visit many European sites because "they have cookies". The difference between those sites and the American sites he spends most of his time on? The ones in the EU have a footer telling him about it. Cookies as a tool are being demonized as a distraction from the industry moving towards a first-party model that collects even more data, as demonstrated by this article.
With the partial exception of the last one, isn't that just data about the content and not the people reading it?
Because third party data brokers partner with a variety of publishers, the segments they create from the data and make available to advertisers are generally fairly generic. NYT's internal team only has to focus on their own content, so it's perversely leading to even more precise targeting capabilities than the previous situation.