Nearly a year after Google announced its new Privacy Sandbox to reduce cross-site tracking on the web, the company announced this morning a multi-year initiative to bring its Privacy Sandbox on Android. Google wants its leading mobile OS to offer “more private advertising solutions” that will improve user privacy, and do so without disrupting the well-oiled machine digital advertising machine that Google and app developers currently rely on to make money.
With the Privacy Sandbox on Android, Google wants to create new advertising solutions that limit data sharing with third parties and don’t require cross-app identifiers, including Google’s advertising ID.
“While we design, build and test these new solutions, we plan to support existing ads platform features for at least two years, and we intend to provide substantial notice ahead of any future changes,” said Anthony Chavez, VP, Product Management, Android Security & Privacy today.
Google’s announcement follows Apple’s much-talked-about App Tracking Transparency feature, which now requires apps on iOS, iPadOS, and tvOS to ask permission if they want to track your activity across other companies’ apps and websites. The new policy impacted companies that make most of their revenue from digital advertising, such as Facebook. However, Google, which earns over 80 percent of its revenue from advertising wants (and probably needs) to proceed differently. Indeed, Chavez couldn’t help but take a jab at Apple today.
“We realize that other platforms have taken a different approach to ads privacy, bluntly restricting existing technologies used by developers and advertisers. We believe that — without first providing a privacy-preserving alternative path — such approaches can be ineffective and lead to worse outcomes for user privacy and developer businesses,” the exec explained.
Overall, Google is willing to work with app developers and the rest of the industry to build its Privacy Sandbox on Android, and the company is already inviting developers to check its initial design proposals on the Android developer site. “We plan to release developer previews over the course of the year, with a beta release by the end of the year,” Chavez said.