Google Privacy Sandbox - How it will impact the future of advertising.
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Google Privacy Sandbox - How it will impact the future of advertising

If you haven’t heard the news by now, third-party cookies are no longer supported on web browsers. Safari and Firefox have already gotten rid of all third-party cookie tracking, and Google is set to phase them out by the second half of 2024. This major decision was made with the intent to increase privacy for internet users. However, the most significant impact is on marketers and advertisers, who now have to find new ways to learn about and engage their target audience. Fortunately, Google is already working on a solution that offers more privacy for users while still offering valuable information to marketers. The decision to remove third-party cookies will forever impact the future of advertising. But will the Google Privacy Sandbox provide a worthwhile solution? Read on to find out. 

What Is Google Privacy Sandbox?

Google’s Privacy Sandbox is their proposal for a safer web experience for users in ways that still allow for effective advertising. Rather than being a single solution, the Privacy Sandbox is a group of proposals with solutions to cover four main areas: ad targeting, ad delivery, ad performance reporting, and of course, user privacy. While still in the testing phase, there is hope that Google Privacy Sandbox could replace third-party cookies. 

In these four areas, Google Privacy Sandbox has multiple proposals in testing to find solutions that work for both advertisers and internet users. 

Ad targeting

Within ad targeting, Google Privacy Sandbox is working on two proposals, FLoC and TURTLEDOVE. Both are designed to ensure advertisers can collect personalized information about their target audience without collecting and storing personally identifiable information. Specifically, FLoC works to target new customers while TURTLEDOVE works to retarget customers. 

Ad delivery 

Within ad delivery, Google Privacy Sandbox is working on two proposals, Fenced Frames and the Trust Token API. Specifically, Fenced Frames would deliver ad code to a specific landing page without gathering any information. The Trust Token API would enable advertisers to identify trusted users without using tracking technology in an attempt to reduce ad fraud and keep the advertising space safe for all users. 

Ad performance reporting

Ad reporting is essential for advertisers to learn what is and isn’t working and adjust ad campaigns accordingly. To assist with this, Google Privacy Sandbox is working on two proposals, the Aggregated Reporting API and the Conversions Measurement API. The aggregated reporting solution would measure ad campaign reach, whereas the conversion measurement solution would capture clicks and conversions. 

User privacy

Of course, at the heart of all of their solutions, Google Privacy Sandbox is eager to ensure greater user privacy. The two proposals working to achieve this are the SameSite attribute and the Privacy Budget. SameSite would help browsers identify third-party cookies, while Privacy Budget limits the use of information so sites can’t collect enough information to identify an internet user personally.

Diving Deeper Into Google Privacy Sandbox Proposals

In more detail, Google’s Privacy Sandbox would replace cookies with five application programming interfaces. Advertisers would theoretically be able to use each of the five APIs to receive aggregated data regarding their ads. Information such as conversion rate and attribution would be available to advertisers while protecting the more sensitive user information. By tracking the behavior of a user within their Chrome browser, habits are tracked instead of individuals. 

The most significant feature of Google Privacy Sandbox is the proposal that collects and stores data on each user’s device. This enhances privacy while still being able to process and use the information for advertising purposes.

Additionally, Google Privacy Sandbox initiatives include CAPTCHA alternative, privacy budget API, conversion measurement API, and PIGIN (private interest groups, including noise). 

  • The CAPTCHA alternative will ask Chrome users to fill out a similar program just once. From there, anonymous “trust tokens” will be used to prove a user is a real-life person continuously. 

  • The privacy budget API will give each set of data a “budget” to limit how much information websites can use. 

  • The conversion measurement API will tell an advertiser when a user sees its ad, visits a promoted page, and purchases a promoted product. 

  • PIGIN is the system that will allow Chrome to track a group of internet users based on their interests and behaviors. 

These are some of the main areas third party cookies provided valuable information to advertisers. Google seeks to find reasonable solutions that also ensure greater privacy for all users. 

How Will Google Privacy Sandbox Impact Advertising in the Future?

The removal of third-party cookies drastically impacts the future of advertising. Whereas marketers used to rely heavily on third-party tracking to collect data and target their audience with personalized ad experiences, advertisers must now seek different methods. With some third-party alternatives in place, such as targeted email marketing, social ads, retargeting, and the use of first-party data, none of these entirely solve the cookieless future conundrum. That is where Google Privacy Sandbox hopes to fill in the gaps. 

Google Privacy Sandbox aims to provide advertisers with the information they need to effectively serve ad campaigns and collect actionable data while keeping a high level of privacy. To ensure their solutions are genuinely beneficial to marketers, Google has been working with advertisers to ensure the type of information collected is usable. While these solutions are not yet available to the general public, some companies are involved in Google’s testing.

What to Do While Waiting on Google Privacy Sandbox

Because the APIs are not yet readily available to all advertisers, marketers can do a few things now to ensure their advertising efforts don’t fall through the cracks without using third-party cookies. First things first, continue researching solutions for a cookieless future. While Google Privacy Sandbox is the most extensive solution testing at the moment, it is not the only solution out there. Additionally, rely on alternative advertising methods and the use of first-party cookies, which aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.