Google enables Privacy Sandbox tracking APIs by default for Chrome users

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Google has made its Privacy Sandbox tracking APIs available to all Chrome web users. According to Google, these offer more privacy-friendly alternatives to third-party tracking cookies. The company also comes with settings for Privacy Sandbox.

In Chrome version 115, the APIs were already available to all users, although they still had to activate them manually. Now are So they are enabled by default, but users can still deactivate them. For this purpose, Google has added some Privacy Sandbox settings. For example, it should be possible to switch the APIs completely on and off, but users can also block certain topics if they do not want their interest to be shared with websites. Examples include ‘vehicles’, ‘TV talk shows’ and ‘food and drinks’. Sites themselves can also be blocked, after which those sites can no longer use Privacy Sandbox to determine what users are interested in and then display personalized advertisements.

By the way, three percent of Chrome users do not yet have access to the Privacy Sandbox APIs. The company says this is done to be able to carry out A/B tests. Within a few months, this last group of users should also have access to alternatives to third-party tracking cookies.

Such cookies are currently still supported by Google Chrome, which means that the Privacy Sandbox alternative has little practical use. However, Google eventually wants to completely phase out third-party tracking cookies in Chrome. In the first quarter of 2024, third-party cookies will be disabled for ‘one percent’ of Chrome users. Google warns that certain features of a site may no longer work properly for that user group if that site has not yet implemented the Privacy Sandbox APIs. The intention is still that third-party cookies will be completely phased out in the second half of 2024.

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