Mobile apps are a core part of our everyday lives. Currently over 90% of the apps on Google Play are free, providing access to valuable content and services to billions of users. Digital advertising plays a key role in making this possible. But in order to ensure a healthy app ecosystem — benefiting users, developers and businesses — the industry must continue to evolve how digital advertising works to improve user privacy. That’s why we originally developed advertising ID to give users more control. Last year we introduced improvements to these controls, but we believe it’s important to go further.
Today, we’re announcing a multi-year initiative to build the Privacy Sandbox on Android, with the goal of introducing new, more private advertising solutions. Specifically, these solutions will limit sharing of user data with third parties and operate without cross-app identifiers, including advertising ID. We’re also exploring technologies that reduce the potential for covert data collection, including safer ways for apps to integrate with advertising SDKs.
Blunt approaches are proving ineffective
We realise that other platforms have taken a different approach to ads privacy, bluntly restricting existing technologies used by developers and advertisers. We believe that — without first providing a privacy-preserving alternative path — such approaches can be ineffective and lead to worse outcomes for user privacy and developer businesses.
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. 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.
Working with the industry
Starting today, developers can review our initial design proposals and share feedback on the Android developer site. We plan to release developer previews over the course of the year, with a beta release by the end of the year. We'll provide regular updates on designs and timelines, and you can also sign up to receive updates.
We know this initiative needs input from across the industry in order to succeed. We’ve already heard from many partners about their interest in working together to improve ads privacy on Android, and invite more organisations to participate.
“India’s journey to becoming the largest digitally connected nation brings with it not just tremendous potential but also great responsibility. Creating a safer internet requires the commitment of the entire industry and this initiative by Google is an important step in that direction.” - Umang Bedi, Co-Founder, VerSe Innovation
“We are excited to hear about the new privacy initiatives from Android. Google’s initiative is a great opportunity for app developers such as HealthifyMe to provide input in shaping the future of privacy on mobile. Their goals are in line with our product vision, delivering a great user experience while continuing to grow the ecosystem.” - Sachin Shenoy, CTO & Co-Founder, HealthifyMe
“We at Hungama give user privacy utmost importance and are glad to learn about Privacy Sandbox on Android. We're looking forward to the solution that will improve user privacy and, at the same time, take care of the developer community's interests. Wishing Google the best on this initiative.” - Siddhartha Roy, COO, Hungama Digital Media
We’re also committed to working closely with regulators. We’ve offered public commitments for our Privacy Sandbox efforts on the web, including ensuring that we don’t give preferential treatment to Google's ads products or sites. We'll apply these principles to our Android work as well, and continue working with the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority, and others.
The Privacy Sandbox on Android is an important part of our mission to raise the bar for user privacy, while giving developers and businesses the tools they need to succeed on mobile. We look forward to working with the industry on this journey.