With more and more mobile apps using in-app digital ads as sources of revenue, there's also been some concerns about user privacy alongside these ads. Today, Google announced it was rolling out the first beta version of what it calls the Privacy Sandbox. It's designed to give Android smartphone and tablet owners some new options to protect their personal information.
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. Apps that choose to participate in the Beta can use these APIs to show you relevant ads and measure their effectiveness.
This new feature will add a section in a phone's Settings that will allow users to limit the kinds of in-app ads that they will see, based on their app activity. For example, if you use a lot of apps on your phone related to movies, or local news, you will likely see more in-app ads that follow those interests. The Privacy Sandbox settings will allow allow you to go deeper, and block ads with topics that you are not interested in seeing.
Google has been working with a number of app developers so they can participate in the Privacy Sandbox feature, and any interested developer can sign up for the beta version. At the moment, only certain smartphones running on Android 13 can get the beta version. If your phone is selected, you should get a notification from Google that will let you know you can check the beta out. You can also turn the beta off in Settings if you don't want to join in.
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