Inside Google Chrome’s Privateness Sandbox Proposals

Google is currently trying to develop a sustainable ad-supported internet after the platform withdrew support for the third-party cookie, which has been the standard monetization tool on the internet since the 1990s, in 2022.

This includes a comprehensive identifiability study aimed at setting a threshold for information publishers can access in order to personalize their websites for users of the market-leading Google Chrome browser while maintaining personal privacy.

In addition, Google is testing a means by which marketers can continue online ad mapping in Chrome beyond 2022.

A Google spokesperson couldn’t immediately respond to Adweek’s request to clarify the schedules of these projects, which are both part of the Google Privacy Sandbox initiative, a year-long series of experiments to find some kind of support for an online ad-supported ecosystem To continue wisely this appeases the privacy advocates.

Raid against fingerprints

Firm decisions have not yet been made, but the identifiability study is part of Google’s efforts to curb covert tracking without third-party cookies, identifying “fingerprints” as a particularly outrageous means of doing it.

Browser fingerprinting is a technique in which developers identify “stable information” in a user’s web browser, such as: B. installed extensions or fonts. These techniques have been used in the past to track users in environments where third-party cookies are not available.

Details of the identifiability study were announced at last week’s Chrome Dev Summit, where Google representatives presented ongoing efforts ahead of the upcoming year of crunch for teams in the world’s most popular web browser.

Data protection budget

Google is conducting the Identifiability Study to collect data that will help publishers get the right balance of user information derived from APIs (also known as identifiers or fingerprint interfaces) while maintaining the privacy of Chrome users.

The Chrome team has proposed an “identifiability threshold” for API information that developers can use to personalize a Chrome user’s website visit, including ad targeting.

From here every publisher receives a “data protection budget”. As soon as a website approaches or exceeds this authorization, the web browser can restrict the Chrome APIs that the publisher can access to prevent the detection of individual website visitors.

Maud Nalpas, of the Google Chrome Developer Relations team, told Chrome Dev Summit attendees that the purpose of the identifiability study was to quantify the identifiability threshold and which APIs count towards a publisher’s privacy budget.

“We hope most of the websites are listed below [the identifiability threshold] As a result, privacy budget enforcement will only affect a small number of websites, ”she added. For a more detailed explanation, see this video:

According to Nalpas, the study examines the more than 300 Chrome APIs that websites access and the amount of identifiable data they disclose. However, it is too early for publishers to prepare their privacy budgets.

Separately, Google is also proposing measures to mitigate covert web-wide tracking, including deliberate IP blindness to prevent geolocation data, arguably the most stable identifiers, from being accessed and used to track people’s surfing behavior.

Conversion measurement without cookies

At the Chrome Dev Summit, Google also presented a conversion measurement API that advertisers can use to assess which ads have generated a conversion, e.g. B. a direct purchase or a database registration without the use of third party cookies.

Third-party cookies are Ad Tech’s historical attribution tool of choice and help keep ad requests in sync with the most appropriate media buyer. However, they have been attacked by privacy advocates who maintain such surveillance leaks on personally identifiable sensitive data.

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