The idea is to limit sharing of user data with third-parties and operate without cross-app identifiers, including advertising ID, a unique, user-resettable string of letters and digits that can be used to track users as they move between apps. Google originally announced its plans to bring Privacy Sandbox to Android earlier this February, following the footsteps of Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework. Integral to the proposed initiative are two key solutions. SDK Runtime, which runs third-party code in mobile apps such as software development kits (SDKs), including those for ads and analytics, in a dedicated sandbox, and Topics API, which gleans “coarse-grained” interest signals on-device based on a user’s app usage that are then shared with advertisers to serve tailored ads without cross-site and cross-app tracking.
Google has officially published the first developer preview for the Android 13 Privacy Sandbox, which gives users a “early look” at the SDK Runtime and Topics API to help them protect their privacy online. “The Privacy Sandbox on Android Developer Preview programme will run throughout 2022, with a beta release scheduled towards the end of the year,” Google said in a statement. Privacy Sandbox on Android is a “multi-year initiative” that intends to develop solutions that are both privacy-preserving and keep internet content and services free without relying on opaque digital advertising tactics.
To address criticisms that the model could possibly give Google an unfair advantage, the tech behemoth noted that the privacy-oriented systems will be developed as part of the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) to ensure transparency into the design and implementation of these solutions. “Android will collaborate with the entire industry and app ecosystem on the journey to a more privacy-first mobile platform, and one which supports a rich diversity of value-exchange that benefits users, developers, and advertisers,” the company said. Found this article interesting? Follow THN on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to read more exclusive content we post.