Google last year announced a multi-year initiative to build the privacy sandbox on Android. The aim of this initiative is to provide more private advertising solutions by restricting the sharing of user data with third parties and operating without cross-app identifiers. The company has now announced that it will release the first beta for testing.
The first beta for Privacy Sandbox on Android is rolling out on a limited number of Android 13 devices. The beta will be made available to more users “over time” and more devices will be selected to participate in the test. These devices will receive an Android notification informing users of their eligibility.
“The Privacy Sandbox Beta offers new APIs that are privacy-focused at their core and don’t use identifiers that can track your activity across apps and websites. Apps that choose to participate in the beta can use these APIs to show you relevant ads and measure their effectiveness,” said Anthony Chavez, Google’s vice president of Privacy Sandbox.
What is Privacy Sandbox?
Google’s privacy sandbox for Android is quite similar to Apple’s app tracking transparency released with the iOS 14.5 update. The feature essentially gives iPhone users control over which company can track them and their data across different apps and websites. These companies must obtain prior approval.
Before the update, developers could use tools to track user data within an app, and based on that information, advertisers could identify user profiles to better target them with advertising. If users deny permission, developers and advertisers cannot track user data.
Google’s Privacy Sandbox, previously made available for testing on Google Chrome, will offer private advertising solutions on Android.
“Our goal with the Privacy Sandbox for Android is to build effective and privacy-friendly advertising solutions where users know their information is safe and developers and businesses have the tools to thrive on mobile. As we design, build and test these new solutions, we plan to support existing ad platform capabilities for at least two years, and we intend to provide extensive advance notice of future changes,” the company said.
It also said it will ensure the company does not give preferential treatment to Google’s ads products or pages.