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WTF is Google’s Privacy Sandbox?

Digiday 17 Jan 2020 05:01

As the furor continues in the wake of Google’s decision to kill third-party cookies, the company is pitching its Privacy Sandbox as the alternative. The initiative has been promised as a way to curtail improper tracking while continuing to allow ad targeting within Google’s Chrome browser. But members of the advertising industry are concerned that the proposal could come with a catch.

As is the case with any big announcement from Google, the ad industry is voicing excitement and confusion about what exactly the Privacy Sandbox is and how it works. Here’s a primer:

WTF is Google’s Privacy Sandbox?
In the cookieless future, Google wants ad targeting, measurement and fraud prevention to happen according to the standards set by its Privacy Sandbox, whereby cookies are replaced by five application programming interfaces. Advertisers will use each API to receive aggregated data about issues like conversion (how well their ads performed) and attribution (which entity is credited, say, for a purchase). Privacy Sandbox represents an alternative pathway that Google is providing for the ad industry to take, relying on anonymized signals (that are not cookies) within a person’s Chrome browser to profit from that user’s browsing habits.

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