Google Launches First Android Beta For Adtracking Overhaul

Google Launches First Android Beta For Adtracking Overhaul
Owners of eligible devices can turn Android Beta Privacy Sandbox on or off at any time from the settings menu. © Image: Owners of Google-enabled devices can always enable or disable Privacy Sandbox in Android beta versions in the settings menu.

Around this time last year, Google announced that it was working on a multi-year initiative to improve privacy and restore ad tracking on Android phones by aligning the mobile platform with app functionality. Apple Tracking Transparency for iOS. After releasing an initial developer preview last April, Google says that the first beta version of Privacy Sandbox on Android will launch tomorrow on a limited number of Android 13 devices, allowing users and developers to test the new technology in time. protesting the world. Access to the beta will be expanded "over time," and devices selected to participate will receive an Android notification notifying users of their eligibility.

Privacy Sandbox for Android is a set of tools aimed at setting a new standard for how advertisers and websites can access consumer data without compromising user privacy. Android devices are currently assigned a unique, user-resettable "Android Advertising ID" that is used to track user behavior and create a personalized advertising profile for use by app developers. The privacy sandbox aims to replace this advertising identifier with an API that Google says limits user data shared with third parties and removes cross-app identifiers, while supporting personalized advertising.

The Android Privacy Sandbox is different from the Google Privacy Sandbox for the web, although both projects share a similar goal.

"Privacy Sandbox Beta offers new APIs that are designed with privacy in mind and don't use identifiers that can track your activity across apps and websites," said Anthony Chavez, vice president of Google Privacy Sandbox. "Apps that choose to participate in the beta may use these APIs to show you relevant ads and measure their effectiveness."

Privacy Sandbox on Android shares some similarities with Google's Web Privacy Sandbox project, which aims to eliminate third-party cookies in Chrome by 2024. According to Google, the two projects share a "common vision to improve user privacy while supporting critical business capabilities," but use different technologies and are being developed independently.

Users selected to participate in the beta test can control which of their personal interests can be targeted for advertising by accessing the privacy sandbox in the settings. For example, if you see an ad for camping gear and sleeping bags, Android may have guessed that you're interested in the Wilderness theme displayed in that view based on your app downloads and in-app activity. Users can block and opt out of topics they don't want to be targeted at any time, or return to participating in the beta.

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