Google plans to make web browsing more private: Here's how
Google is taking steps to build a more private web for its users. However, unlike Apple, the search giant, which makes most of its revenues from targeted advertising, isn't blocking web tracking and cookies entirely. It wants to maintain a balance for both users and advertisers and has, therefore, announced a 'Privacy Sandbox' to achieve that. Here's all about it.
What is a 'Privacy Sandbox'
Privacy Sandbox, as 9to5Google reports, is an initiative to build a set of open standards that sites and browsers could adopt to give users the privacy they need without shunning down advertisers completely. Basically, this is a middle ground of sorts that would keep things private for users while ensuring that publishers/other sites get just enough cookies, tracking-data to advertise and generate revenue.
Google recognizes users need for web privacy
Google recognizes that cookies-based activity tracking is essential for supporting web-based businesses but also notes that the practice is "now being used far beyond its original design intent (of delivering personalized content), with "some data practices don't match up to user expectations for privacy."
How Google plans to build Privacy Sandbox
Google says Privacy Sandbox would come as a "secure environment for personalization that also protects user privacy." The company hasn't defined its final configuration but is exploring a number of ideas to build the environment, including setting a privacy budget. This, it says, will restrict "ads to large groups of similar people without letting individually identifying data..leave your browsers."
And, how privacy budget would work?
The privacy budget would allow websites to request information to "narrow a user down to a group sufficiently large enough to maintain anonymity," Google said, adding that after a certain point, requests to mine more information would be blocked by the browser.
Many other protections also planned
Along with this, the search giant is also exploring ways to help publishers/advertisers make their content more relevant for users as well as to prevent fraudulent activity. Beyond this, at I/O 2019, it had suggested things like better classifying cookies, highlighting settings, and blocking fingerprinting (which uniquely identifies devices), among other measures to help make web browsing more private for users.