Google has announced the official launch of Privacy Sandbox, a system that replaces cookies in Chrome and tracks user behavior. This idea was first proposed in 2019 and has been continuously improved upon since then.
The concept behind Privacy Sandbox is to eliminate cookies as a means of tracking which websites users visit. However, to still allow advertising businesses to thrive, Chrome now collects user interests, such as cars, movies, sports, travel, and music, in a more broad manner. When we visit a website that embeds advertisements, the advertising system requests our interests from the browser to select ads that we may be interested in, instead of bombarding us with irrelevant ads.
Google has been testing Privacy Sandbox in Chrome since 2022 and the API is now in General Availability (GA). On Android, it has been tested with some users since early 2023 to replace the previous Advertising ID, but it is not yet in GA.
Chrome users can view their ad topics from the Settings > Privacy and Security > Ad Privacy page. They can also choose to delete or block certain categories of ads as desired.
Google’s plan is to gradually transition from cookies to Privacy Sandbox to allow the advertising industry time to adapt. They will start by disabling cookies for 1% of users in the first quarter of 2024, but there is no announcement yet on when this transition will be complete.
In conclusion, Google has introduced Privacy Sandbox as an alternative to cookies for tracking user behavior in Chrome. This system aims to provide targeted ads based on user interests while respecting privacy.