It looks like there’s finally some movement in Google’s privacy sandbox initiative.
First announced in August 2019, the initiative aimed to replace third-party browser cookies with a set of APIs, which should limit the amount of data the browser collects about a user’s activities. However, users have been waiting for the tool to be implemented for almost four years without any major updates from the company.
in one Blog post from July 13th As we share details on what to expect from the launch of Chrome 115, we received a little more information about the Privacy Sandbox release.
According to Developer Relations Engineer Adriana Jara, Chrome 115, officially launched on July 18, will begin introducing the Privacy Sandbox by ending the use of “third-party cookies and other mechanisms that have been used to track user browsing behavior across websites and infer topics of interest”. Instead, they will use the Topics API.
The Topics API allows Chrome to share information with third parties such as advertisers while maintaining user privacy. “Topics are a signal to help ad tech platforms choose relevant ads,” Jara writes. “Unlike third-party cookies, this information is shared without revealing any other information about the user themselves or the user’s browsing activities.”
Basically, when a user visits a website about cats, the browser keeps “cats” as the topic of interest, rather than the actual website visited. Then advertisers will send ads related to “cats” and not related to a specific website. The final result? Advertisers have less specific data about users.
Accordingly the edgeHowever, this does not mean that the privacy sandbox will be complete after the release of Chrome 115. There is still more to do before the Privacy Sandbox rollout is complete, including enabling a test mode for advertisers to experiment in the Privacy Sandbox without using cookies, and completely disabling third-party cookies for one percent of Chrome users.
Still, this is a pretty big step. According to Verge, Google aims to fully replace third-party cookies with APIs by the end of 2024.