What is Google’s Privacy Sandbox on Android?

Glossary What is Google’s Privacy Sandbox on Andr...

Google’s Privacy Sandbox on Android explained

Currently in beta for select Android devices, Google’s Privacy Sandbox on Android is a multi-year initiative introducing new privacy-first technology and solutions to mobile advertising. The goal is to improve user privacy on mobile devices and mobile apps while maintaining personalized ad experiences and robust measurement and attribution capabilities for mobile marketers and developers.

Privacy Sandbox on Android is the next iteration of the original Chrome Privacy Sandbox, which aims to satisfy cross-site use cases for relevant advertising without third-party cookies or other tracking mechanisms. In the context of mobile, the goal is to minimize use of the device ID.

Anthony Chavez, VP of Privacy Sandbox, said, “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.”

Users and app publishers can both participate in the beta. As pictured below, users can opt-in to test the features, after which they’ll see a page where Android has estimated their interests.

Here, they can choose which categories and topics they want to receive personalized advertising for. This allows users to more precisely choose the ads they see and gives advertisers a greater opportunity to reach targeted audiences interested in their products.

How does Google’s Privacy Sandbox on Android work?

Similar to Apple’s restrictions on access to the IDFA by requiring users to opt-in via ATT, Privacy Sandbox on Android aims to achieve its goal by reducing reliance on the Google Advertising ID (GAID) and potentially removing it entirely. While they work differently, both initiatives and frameworks center around providing less access to device IDs to limit or block the sharing of user data to third parties via cross-app identifiers.

Privacy Sandbox on Android will, however, provide mechanisms for advertisers so that apps are able to continue providing users with free content and services, and personalized experiences. Second in Google’s key objectives for Privacy Sandbox on Android is to enable advertisers and publishers to work with “privacy-preserving alternatives for their key business needs, including serving relevant ads, in order to continue providing free experiences for billions of people around the world.”

Let’s examine Privacy Sandbox on Android from the mobile attribution reporting standpoint:

Currently, advertisers can use the GAID to measure campaign performance by gaining insight into data on ad views, installs and downloads, engagements, and re-engagements. With Privacy Sandbox, Google provides Attribution Reporting API, which will be the key way to measure and attribute campaign performance for devices where the GAID is not accessible.

Within this framework, two report types will be available—event reports and aggregated reports—which are both likely to become important components in marketers’ Android advertising strategies. Depending on your vertical, monetization model, and the types of events you attribute for campaign optimization, strategic approaches will look different—just like with SKAN.

Event reports: Similar in concept to SKAN’s postbacks, providing upper-funnel data (campaign, sub-campaign, creative, click ID, etc.) to associate a click with a small amount of conversion data.

Aggregated reports: Provide granular trigger (event) data more quickly in aggregated form, meaning the data cannot be linked to a specific trigger or user. These reports are rich in lower-funnel data like revenue, number of purchases etc. and also feature upper-funnel breakdowns such as campaign level and geo.

Adjust and Privacy Sandbox on Android

As an early tester of Privacy Sandbox on Android and as part of the beta launch, we’re working closely with Google to actively impact the solution that will eventually be rolled out in full.

We are dedicated to the privacy-centric evolution of the mobile marketing and app advertising ecosystem. This makes it extremely exciting for us to be working on an advertising solution that enhances user privacy and decision making around sharing of data while building solutions that allow advertisers to retrieve meaningful and actionable insights. With all of this in mind, we’re honored to be collaborating with Google in this initiative and will provide updates as they come.

For more information on Privacy Sandbox on Android get in touch with your Adjust contact person or request a demo here.

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