comscore Google is bringing Privacy Sandbox to Android: Here’s what it means

With Android Privacy Sandbox, Google is taking a step in Apple’s direction

Google is developing a new set of privacy tools for its Android ecosystem that will limit the data that app developers collect from their apps about users.


Image: Pixabay

Google today announced a multi-year initiative to overhaul Android’s ad-tracking system. The company today said that it is building a Privacy Sandbox in a bid to limit ad tracking on the Android ecosystem. The company today said that the solutions that will be developed under Privacy Sandbox will limit sharing of user data with third parties. Google also said that it is exploring technologies that reduce the potential for covert data collection, including safer ways for apps to integrate with advertising SDKs. Also Read - Google’s $1 billion investment in Bharti Airtel gets CCI approval

“Our goal with the Privacy Sandbox on Android is to develop effective and privacy enhancing advertising solutions, where users know their information is protected, and developers and businesses have the tools to succeed on mobile,” Google’s VP of Android Security and Privacy Anthony Chavez wrote in a blog post. Also Read - Google, Vodafone team up to work on extending Wear OS smartwatch battery life

“While we design, build and test these new solutions, we plan to support existing ads platform features for at least two years, and we intend to provide substantial notice ahead of any future changes,” he added. Also Read - Google's Password Manager gets updated: Here are the four major changes

The company also said that developers will be able to review Google’s initial proposals for introducing a Privacy Sandbox for Android and share feedback starting today. Google plans to release developer previews over the course of the year and a beta version of the proposed features by the end of the year.

But why should I care?

What all of this translates to is that Google is developing a new set of privacy tools for its Android ecosystem that will limit the data that app developers collect from their apps about users. This data is used by developers and companies to deliver targeted ads to the users by actively tracking user behaviour in their apps and sometimes even in case of other apps as well.

These tools will give users the choice to allow or deny apps to track their data for delivering targeted ads. In short, apps will have to get user consent for tracking their online behaviour. These new tools are also expected to provide users with controls that will enable them to limit the data that the apps collect and the way it is used.

Does iOS have it?

Notably, Apple had introduced similar privacy tools last year. The company introduced App Tracking Transparency feature with the roll out of iOS 14.5 last year. The feature forced developers to give users a choice to allow or deny permission to track their data across apps and websites. This choice is given in the form of a standard prompt. If users tap on the ‘Allow’ option, apps will continue tracking the users as they did before the feature was introduced. However, if users tap the ‘Ask App Not To Track’ option, then the developer won’t be able to track customers using their data in their app. They will also not be able to see the collected data to other companies.

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  • Published Date: February 17, 2022 11:41 AM IST

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