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Google is currently engaging in a multi-year effort to prevent Android apps from being able to collect data from users’ other apps to profile internet activities. Their new Privacy Sandbox will improve Android users’ privacy while still allowing personalized advertising experiences.

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Google currently makes cross-app tracking easy for developers to access from your Android because your advertising ID shows which apps you use. Even if you opt out of the ad system in Android settings, third-party apps can still use your phone’s serial number or IP address to track your internet usage.

However, Google has a multi-year plan to protect its users’ privacy, and the data developers can track from your Android app usage.

Google’s effort to block cross-app tracking came a year after Apple introduced privacy controls for iOS. 

Google wants to provide more than an illusion of protection without leading to worse privacy, and developer business outcomes like the iOS’s App Tracking Transparency system seemed to do.

Android’s Privacy Sandbox has several aims in mind for a superior system to block cross-app tracking from invading your privacy:

  • Keeping user information private
  • Allowing publishers and developers to maintain free content
  • Creating new app privacy standards throughout the industry
  • Using SDK Runtime to support a safer way to integrate apps with third-party advertising
  • Using FLEDGE for Android to create customized ads based on which apps you’ve used without sharing data with a third party
  • Providing ad performance information and optimization options to advertisers while sharing only limited data about users
  • Using Topics API in the Chrome browser to determine topic interests based on web history
  • Ensuring they won’t give preferential treatment to Google ad sites or products

Our Two Cents 

The advertising industry is experiencing significant changes following the aforementioned privacy restrictions. It seems as if Apple is leading the way in privacy-related policy and standards. First, we saw Meta’s reaction to iOS 14.5 with the Aggregated Event Measurement (AEM) release, and now we see it with Google’s new Privacy Sandbox announcement.

These are obviously game-changing news for advertisers, who are struggling with targeting and who have already witnessed a sharp increase in advertising costs, specifically for app installs. 

Advertisers ought to find new and creative ways to reach their prospects, such as managing 1st party databases or giving up on first-response, focusing on content, branding, video, or other long funnel strategies.

Source: Google Blog

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