What you need to know
- Google's Privacy Sandbox initiative could not launch fully till 2024.
- The tool to block third-party cookies needs more time, Google clarifies.
- Developers can begin testing the APIs starting this week.
The Privacy Sandbox from Google is the company's effort to block third-party cookies on Chrome. Intending to build a private web, the search giant first introduced this concept in 2019. A year after, it announced that it plans to take it live by 2022. And, here we are in 2022, where Google is still seen illustrating its plans on testing and making the Privacy Sandbox available for the web by 2024.
In a new blog post, Google says it has been releasing trial versions of new Privacy Sandbox APIs in the Chrome browser to developers for testing purposes. The processes included refining design proposals on inputs from the developers' community, publishers, marketers, and regulators through forums like W3C.
Google also highlights an agreement reached earlier this year to work with the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which will provide input on how Google implements and releases these new Privacy Sandbox features.
However, the feedback Google has received on its proposals suggests that the company needs more time to test and evaluate the Privacy Sandbox's technologies before removing third-party cookies on Chrome.
"This feedback aligns with our commitment to the CMA to ensure that the Privacy Sandbox provides effective, privacy-preserving technologies and the industry has sufficient time to adopt these new solutions," says Anthony Chaves, VP of Privacy Sandbox. "This deliberate approach to transitioning from third-party cookies ensures that the web can continue to thrive, without relying on cross-site tracking identifiers or covert techniques like fingerprinting."
While developers are given the ability to test the new Privacy Sandbox APIs on Chrome starting this week, Google plans to expand to more users globally from early next month and into early 2023.
Users added to the trial will be notified with a prompt allowing them to opt-out if they so choose, Google says. Meanwhile, the tests and feedback from the developer community will continue to make room for improvements.
The big picture from Google is to phase out all third-party cookies by the second half of 2024, starting with Chrome. With another two years of a target in mind, Google expects to release the Privacy Sandbox APIs for developers by Q3 2023 so that they can adapt to these APIs on Chrome.
A developer preview introduced Privacy Sandbox for Android devices early this year.
For those interested, Google also provides a timeline to track the progress and plans. The company further states that it is "grateful to be working with companies across the industry who are invested in developing privacy-first experiences on the web, and will be testing Privacy Sandbox in the coming months."
Chrome is one of the prominent browsers when it comes to laptops, desktops, and some of the best Chromebooks available out there. It even takes a significant position considering the Android browsers in the Google Play Store. The Privacy Sandbox is a unique solution to block large-scale cookies that undermine people's privacy with hidden techniques, including fingerprinting and cross-site tracking, to name a few.
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Vishnu works as a freelance News Writer for Android Central. For the past four years, he's been writing about consumer technology, primarily involving smartphones, laptops, and every other gizmo connected to the Internet. When he is away from keyboard, you can see him going on a long drive or chilling on a couch binge-watching some crime series.