Home/ News / Google’s Privacy Sandbox coming to Android: What is it and what it does

Technology giant Google has announced that it will soon bring the Privacy Sandbox feature on Android. The feature was first introduced in February last year. It was announced with the goal of introducing more private advertising solutions that will limit sharing of user data with third parties.

“Over the past year, we’ve worked closely with the industry to gather feedback and begin testing these new technologies. Today, we’re entering the next phase of this initiative, rolling out the first Beta for the Privacy Sandbox on Android to eligible devices. With the Beta, users and developers will be able to experience and evaluate these new solutions in the real world," Google said in a blog post.

What is Google’s Privacy Sandbox?

Google says that Privacy Sandbox is an important part of its mission to raise the bar for user privacy, while giving developers and businesses the tools they need to succeed on mobile. It will limit sharing of user data with third parties and operate without cross-app identifiers, including advertising ID. The feature reduces the potential for covert data collection, including safer ways for apps to integrate with advertising SDKs.

What does this mean for users?

Google says that the Privacy Sandbox will start rolling out for Android Beta gradually. It will first be available with a small percentage of Android 13 devices, and will expand over time.

The Privacy Sandbox Beta provides new APIs that are designed with privacy at the core, and don't use identifiers that can track your activity across apps and websites. Users will be able to control Beta participation by going to the Privacy Sandbox section of Settings. From this screen, they will be able to see and manage the interests that apps can use to show relevant ads.

For example, one could see that Android predicted that you are interested in topics like Movies or Outdoors. If they do not fit your interest, you can block topics.

Google Privacy Dropbox vs Apple App Tracking feature

Apple introduced App Tracking feature with iOS 14. It allows users to choose whether an app can track their activity across other companies’ apps and websites for the purposes of advertising or sharing with data brokers. Google’s Privacy Dropbox, on the other hand, limits sharing of user data with third parties.

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Updated: 17 Feb 2023, 12:22 PM IST
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