Google Launches Privacy Sandbox Beta on Android 13 Devices

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Google has officially started rolling out the beta of its Privacy Sandbox features on a limited number of Android 13 devices.

First unveiled in 2020, the Privacy Sandbox is an initiative designed to limit user data sharing in digital advertising and the impact of cross-app identifiers.

“Over the past year, we’ve worked closely with the industry to gather feedback and begin testing these new technologies,” Google wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.

“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.”

From a technical standpoint, the Privacy Sandbox Beta provides new APIs that don’t use identifiers that can track user activity across apps and websites. For now, it will be down to individual apps participating in the beta and using the APIs to show relevant ads and measure their effectiveness on customers.

On the other hand, users will be able to control beta participation by going to the Privacy Sandbox section of Settings.

“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,” reads the blog post.

Google further revealed that it collected feedback from hundreds of companies on its design proposals and developer previews before releasing the Privacy Sandbox beta. The list includes Samsung, OnePlus and Vivo, among others.

“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,” Google wrote. “We’ll continue to work closely with developers, marketers, and regulators on this journey.”

The new feature comes weeks after the company’s Fi arm reported a breach connected to a third-party system.

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