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Google Privacy Sandbox Explained

Ch-ch-changes: recently, there’s been a lot of technology innovations and policy changes shaking up the ad tech landscape, including the introduction of the Google Privacy Sandbox.

Cookieless Future, Postponed Until 2024


Google collects data to be used for targeted advertising purposes, it sells advertising space and also acts as an online advertising intermediary. So Google is present at almost all levels of the supply chain for online display advertising. We are concerned that Google has made it harder for rival online advertising services to compete in the so-called ad tech stack.


Another reason for the timeline extension is that Google also needs time to evaluate the new tech, gather industry feedback before the official rollout of implementation. Google says:

We believe that the Privacy Sandbox will provide the best privacy protections for everyone. By ensuring that the ecosystem can support their businesses without tracking individuals across the web, we can all ensure that free access to content continues.

It’s important to note that the Privacy Sandbox was created as part of Google’s roadmap for the future of the open web (and to comply with anti-trust laws). The two primary goals are to:

1. Improve user privacy
2. Provide businesses with insights and tools for a successful online strategy. (We want that sweet, sweet data.)

Later in this blog, you’ll learn the details of how the Privacy Sandbox will work, but in this section, we’ll talk about Google’s most recent updates. Long story short:
  • Google has been running tests and deploying new privacy technologies for the past two years.
  • Google says:

The most consistent feedback we’ve received is the need for more time to evaluate and test the new Privacy Sandbox technologies before deprecating third-party cookies in Chrome. This feedback aligns with our commitment to the CMA to ensure that the Privacy Sandbox provides effective, privacy-preserving technologies and the industry has sufficient time to adopt these new solutions.

  • After receiving feedback from industry peers, Google has begun introducing testing windows.
  • More Privacy Sandbox trials will be rolled out to millions of users worldwide, starting in August 2022. The trial population is planned to increase this year gradually and into 2023.
  • For the Privacy Sandbox trial users, they will see a prompt like this:

What is Going On with Google’s Privacy Sandbox?


Following in Safari and Mozilla Firefox’s footsteps, Google will soon be phasing out third-party cookies on the Chrome browser. They are offering the “Privacy Sandbox” as an alternative option for collecting user data.


The most significant item in the Privacy Sandbox is Google’s proposal to move all user data into the browser where it will be stored and processed. This means that data stays on the user’s device and is privacy compliant. This is now table stakes and the gold standard for privacy.




Who Will Be Affected?

What Google Has Shared So Far

Because Google hasn’t released too much official news on the Privacy Sandbox just yet, much of the information going around are speculations/predictions from the advertising industry. Here are the ones that Google has announced:

Federated Learning of Cohorts API (replaced by Topics)

Topics API

Trust Token API

Privacy Budget API

Event Conversion Measurement API

Aggregate Reporting API



Emphasis on First-Party Relationships

We’ll deepen our support for solutions that build on these direct relationships between consumers and the brands and publishers they engage with.

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What This Means For Marketers?

Many Tracking Functions are Still Available

Other Ad Tech Providers Are Offering Solutions

Emphasis on Customer Relationships

Google Privacy Sandbox: Next Steps