Google unveils ‘Privacy Sandbox’ to reform advertising evils and protect users’ privacy on web

Google has announced a new initiative called “Privacy Sandbox” to develop a set of open standards to fundamentally enhance privacy on Internet, in a bid to protect users’ privacy as they open ads on the web. According to google it will work with the web community to develop new standards that advance privacy, while continuing to support free access to content.

On Thursday, Justin Schuh, Director, Chrome Engineering said in a blog post “Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve started sharing our preliminary ideas for a ‘Privacy Sandbox’ -- a secure environment for personalization that also protects user privacy.”

The company is also aiming to ensure that ads continue to be relevant for users, but their personal data shared with advertisers and websites would be minimised by anonymously aggregating user data and keeping more user information on-device only. Developers have found ways to use information that vary between users, with ‘fingerprinting’, such as what fonts they have installed, what device they have found to generate a unique identifier which can then be used across websites to match a user.

Google said, “Unlike cookies, users cannot clear their fingerprint, and therefore cannot control how their information is collected. We think this subverts user choice and is wrong.” When asked for feedback on this approach from the web platform community, Google said, “So we are doing something different. We want to find a solution that both really protects user privacy and also helps content remain freely accessible on the web.”

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