Google announces it will introduce ‘privacy sandbox’ in Android

On Wednesday, Google announced another new plan to bring a private sandbox to Android, in a bid to extend privacy-focused ad tech to the mobile web without disrupting users.

The internet giant said it would work on building solutions to prevent cross-app tracking, like Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework, which effectively limits the sharing of user data with third parties and removes Identifiers such as advertising IDs.

An advertising identifier is a unique, user-resettable string of letters and numbers that is connected to a personal device and allows ad tech companies to infer a user’s interests from their online behavior and the activities of different applications.

In 2019, Google introduced privacy sandbox, an umbrella term for a range of privacy technologies that will phase out third-party cookies and curb stealthy tracking by reducing the amount of information that websites can access. The technology differs from Apple ATT in that Apple requires all apps to obtain explicit consent from users before tracking their activities on other apps and websites, while Google aims to enable mobile advertising by providing privacy protections while taking restrictive measures to reduce tracking between different apps. In addition, Google will require applications to declare “” permission to query advertising identifiers on devices running Android 12 and above, and not to use them for children’s apps.

Although Google already has plans for this, it will support existing identifier-based ad platforms for at least two more years, but the beta version will be released before the end of this year.

In the last year, Google began tightening its policy around the use of advertising IDs, and if users opt-out of receiving interest-based or personalized ads, it will not be available to developers. This change is expected to be rolled out to all Android phones on April 1, 2022, through the Google Play Services Update.