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Privacy Sandbox Initiative: What Brands Need to Know

by Joanna Foyle on 25 Aug 2022
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Google now wants to limit the tracking across its Android Operating System. This announcement is followed by Apple’s move to completely opt out of tracking iPhones. According to meta, this change has resulted in a 10 billion revenue loss. In 2019, Google announced a Privacy Sandbox initiative on the web to protect users from third-party cookies. Despite evolving with time and features, the initiative is facing criticism from many.

What is the privacy sandbox initiative?

According to Google, this initiative would restrict cross-website and coss-app tracking to protect the privacy of the users. Although the main objective is to preserve privacy, this initiative also aims to set privacy standards for the industry so that entrepreneurs can establish successful business ventures online. There are essentially two uses of privacy sandbox, one, is through web browsers to limit the tracking and eventually phase out third party cookies. Two, through the android system to provide the required privacy for the users while developers utilise information to launch their products.

After the initial announcement in 2019, privacy sandbox in 2020 said they would not support third party cookies on web browsers. There have been multiple delays in the complete phase of out of using third party cookies. As per the recent announcement by Google, the cookie information will be available for advertisers till 2024.

There are two sides of this story, on one side multiple adtech companies that participated in the privacy sandbox trialtest feel these updates will push the momentum for progress. On the other hand, some of the publishers feel this promotion of privacy standard by Google might end up giving more power to the tech giant in deciding the future of adtech industry. In addition, revenue was shrunk by 52% as cookies were disabled for top 500 publishers.

Undoubtedly, Google has dominated the adtech industry and will continue to do so in the future. The other side of the Privacy Sandbox initiative is not very rosy. It seems like this is one of the initial initiatives to protect consumer privacy despite its shortcomings.
What are the Tools?
The following are the three popular measures under privacy sandbox in order to achieve the privacy standards. These are under tests in the beta version and are expected to be implemented in the name “Chrome Stable”
FLEDGE- A proposal under the sandbox to remarket and serve for custom audience use-case. In FLEDGE, advertisers are the buyers who bid in action and the bidding process takes place as the seller initiates an auction.

Attribution Reporting- This API is used to prevent cross website tracking by measuring just the adclick and conversion when the user clicks the ad.

Trust Tokens that enable the digital advertisers to remarket, gain insights and combat spams online.

The future of targeted advertising depends on the evolution of privacy sandbox initiatives and how it impacts the digital marketing landscape.

How to be prepared for the future?

As a marker or business owner, you might have been dependent on the third party cookies for targeted ads and retargeting so far. With the new changes, chrome might not allow third party cookies to obtain the information.

But the marketers can always build a dynamic plan to ensure the advertisements are least affected by these changes.

Most important takeaway is that businesses have the need to constantly be updated and cannot depend on just one tool to understand the market.