Every day billions of people use mobile apps to stay informed, make decisions, be entertained, and much more. Digital advertising plays a key role in supporting the millions of developers who build and maintain these apps. And as people's reliance on apps has increased over time, so have their privacy expectations.
Last year, we announced the Privacy Sandbox on Android, an industry-wide initiative to raise the bar for user privacy and ensure continued access to free content and services. Building on our web efforts, we’re developing solutions for digital advertising that limit user data sharing and don't rely on cross-app identifiers.
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.
What this means for users
The Privacy Sandbox for Android Beta will roll out gradually, starting with a small percentage of Android 13 devices, and will expand over time. If your device is selected for the Beta, you’ll receive an Android notification letting you know.
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. Apps that choose to participate in the Beta can use these APIs to show you relevant ads and measure their effectiveness.
You’ll be able to control your Beta participation by going to the Privacy Sandbox section of Settings. From this screen you’ll be able to see and manage the interests that apps can use to show you relevant ads. For example, you could see that Android has estimated that you’re interested in topics like Movies or Outdoors, and you can block any topics if they don’t fit your interests. And if you change your mind about participating in the Beta, you can turn it off or back on in Settings.
Collaborating with the industry
Our goal with the Privacy Sandbox is to enhance user privacy while providing businesses with the tools to succeed online. Blunt approaches that don’t provide viable alternatives harm app developers, and they don’t work for user privacy either, leading to less private ways of tracking users like device fingerprinting.
This is why we’re working with the Android ecosystem to build solutions that protect users and work for developers.
Since announcing the Privacy Sandbox on Android, hundreds of companies have shared their feedback on our design proposals and developer previews. This feedback has been invaluable in shaping the designs, and we welcome further participation from organizations across the industry.
Evolving digital advertising to enhance user privacy, by moving away from reliance on cross-app tracking, is vital for the future of a thriving mobile ecosystem. We’ll continue to work closely with developers, marketers, and regulators on this journey.
If you’re an ad technology provider, the Privacy Sandbox is ready for testing. If you’re an app developer who works with third parties for advertising-related services, ask your providers about their roadmap and how you can participate in testing the Privacy Sandbox. We’ve published developer guidance on how to participate in the Beta, and recommend following our Privacy Sandbox blog for regular updates.