Privacy Sandbox beta comes to Android as Google tries to save us from invasive ad tracking

Android 13 review
(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google has worked to develop ways to replace user-tracking cookies with new technologies.
  • The Privacy Sandbox is Google's testing grounds for technologies that aim to preserve user privacy while retaining personalized ads.
  • Google has announced the gradual rollout of the Privacy Sandbox beta on Android.

Google's crusade against privacy-invading cookies has hit another milestone as the company announced on Tuesday that the Privacy Sandbox is coming to Android phones in beta.

After launching the Privacy Sandbox developer preview on Android last year, Google is now taking the feedback it has received with a more public testing phase. This should provide Google with real-world data on the effectiveness of its initiative.

If you're unaware, the Privacy Sandbox is an initiative that Google started as a way to rid the web of cookies, a technology that websites use to store information about your preferences to feed you personalized ads based on data about you and your habits. This works similarly on Android, except app developers and websites can access this data thanks to an Android Advertising ID.

With the Privacy Sandbox, Google is trying to find a way to replace these methods so that users retain their privacy while still allowing advertisers to feed personalized ads.

"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," notes Anthony Chavez, VP of Privacy Sandbox at Google. "Apps that choose to participate in the Beta can use these APIs to show you relevant ads and measure their effectiveness."

On Android phones, users will have access to Privacy Sandbox settings, where they can manage their participation in the beta (it's optional) and edit their interests so that apps can serve better ads.

(Image credit: Google)

The beta will roll out gradually on a small number of Android phones running Android 13, although Google did not specify which devices. You'll receive a notification on your device if the beta reaches you, that way, you can decide whether or not to participate. Over time, Google will make the beta available to more Android devices.

Derrek Lee
News Editor

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.