Google’s profitable revenue-making business is an advertisement across its product line. It heavily relies on browser cookies to identify and target specific users based on their browsing activity and interest. Stopping these browser cookies or third-party trackers will have a significant impact on the overall advertising industry.
Google has been trying to mitigate the impact and developing a project called Privacy Sandbox that essentially protects the user’s privacy and gives complete control over their behavior advertisements. Simultaneously, developing alternative ad tech standards allows advertisers to target specific users with limited data.
Protecting the user’s privacy and stopping third-party trackers has long been due in Chrome. However, Google is now ready to test its new Privacy Sandbox project for a small set of users from the Chrome Stable 115 version, estimated to be available in late July 2023.
According to the published announcement, the privacy sandbox will have multiple relevance and measurement APIs, including:
- Topics: Generate signals for interest-based advertising without third-party cookies or other user identifiers that track individuals across sites.
- Protected Audience: Select ads for remarketing and custom audience use cases designed to mitigate third-party tracking across sites. (This API was previously named FLEDGE. As we head towards launch, we’ve updated the name to reflect the functionality better.)
- Attribution Reporting: Correlate ad clicks or ad views with conversions. Ad techs can generate event-level or summary reports.
- Private Aggregation: Generate aggregate data reports using data from Protected Audiences and cross-site data from Shared Storage.
- Shared Storage: Allow unlimited, cross-site storage write access with privacy-preserving read access.
- Fenced Frames: Securely embed content onto a page without sharing cross-site data.
There were several relevant measurement APIs that are already shipped, and many more are yet to come apart from the above-mentioned.
- User-Agent reduction: first released in May 2022 and completed in May 2023.
- CHIPS: made available in February 2023
- First-Party Sets: it’s been currently rolling out with Chrome Stable 113.
- Federated Credential Management (FedCM): shipped in November 2022.
As a part of user controls, Chrome is adding a new set of options in the Setting menu under the Privacy and Security tab, which can help to calibrate the ad privacy and relevance. It allows you to configure the
- Ad topics: which are based on your browsing history.
- Site-suggested ads: these are based on the activity performed on a particular site.
- Ad measurement: that allows sites and advertisers to understand the performance of the ads.
The setting might be kept on by default. However, you can configure which component to be used on the settings page. Here is the screengrab, currently in progress but not finalized, that displays the Ad privacy menu on the Chrome Settings page.
Developers can preview these controls by enabling the Chrome experiment flags at [/code]chrome://flags/#privacy-sandbox-settings-4 in Chrome Dev Build.
Chrome is currently offering two modes for testing:
- Mode A: Ad techs can receive control and experiment labels on a portion of traffic and use these to conduct testing and experiments.
- Mode B: Chrome globally disables third-party cookies for some portion (1%) of all Chrome users, which will be made Generally Available (GA) in Chrome 115.
If you're lucky to experience the new Privacy Sandbox mode in a development phase, we recommend sharing the feedback with Chrome Developers for any improvement.
Lastly, if you've any thoughts or feedback on Chrome’s Privacy Sandbox to Stop 3rd-party trackers: Ready to Test, then feel free to drop in below comment box. You can also report the outdated information.