What is Google Chrome Privacy Sandbox?

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Google Chrome Privacy Sandbox
Google Chrome Privacy Sandbox

“Google Chrome”- something that we all are quite familiar with. “Google Chrome Privacy Sandbox”- something you might have not heard of. Regardless of whether you’re familiar with the Google Chrome Privacy Sandbox, we all have our concerns regarding our online privacy. With the intent to put a leash on online ad tracking, Google’s Chrome Privacy Sandbox was recently launched. This is a cookie-less solution for Chrome users without actually hampering the advertiser while keeping your privacy intact.

Here’s how it might be of significant value for you netizens and is it any better?

Cookies:

Cookies are simple text files that contain bits of user information. For instance, the items in your online shopping cart stay there until you manually delete them off there. But it isn’t that dead simple and there are two types of Cookies- First-Party and Third-Party. First-Party Cookies contain your login details, language preferences, items added to the cart, etc. These basically contribute to a more refined user experience.

Next up, is Third-Party Cookies are mainly trackers that track your online activities to display targeted ads to you. And if you wonder how you get displayed a t-shirt ad when you were actually looking forward to getting one, this is how it happens.

Why does Google want to Block Third-Party Cookies?

There’s more than what meets the eye and this holds true for cookies as well. Third-party cookies can be used to collect user data and since data in the modern days might prove hazardous if it falls into the wrong hands. There has been a rise in awareness with regards to online privacy among people that laid the foundation of new privacy laws such as GDPR, CCPA, LGPD, PDPA, and many others. These laws protect user privacy by limiting cookie use by third parties to some extent but an extra layer is always appreciated.

As a result of this online privacy awareness among netizens, many browsers followed the path paved by Mozilla Firefox and have hopped on to this online privacy bandwagon. This is google’s take on online privacy and that’s what Google’s Chrome Privacy Sandbox is for. In a nutshell, the move towards the Privacy Sandbox by Google is mainly to improve the privacy of users without damaging the ability to target ads.

How does Google Chrome Privacy Sandbox work?

To put it in the simplest way possible, Google’s Chrome Privacy Sandbox collects data and sorts them into groups. It controls the data that a third party gets off of your browser and ensures that your user data are safe. For ad tracking, it merges users into groups and then lets that info to the advertiser so that the ads that you see; remain relevant while your privacy remains untampered.

In order to do so, chrome uses FLoC. The FLoC service used by the browser creates a mathematical model with thousands of “cohorts”, each of which will correspond to thousands of web browsers with similar recent browsing histories. It offers a privacy-preserving mechanism for targeted ad selection. What FLoC does is that it transcribes user data into various sections called “cohorts” and these cohorts pack in multiple users’ data albeit their preferences of web content are similar. And it only lets the third-party cookies access the data that they need in order to keep your ads relevant while blocking any suspicious threats that might pose a threat to your privacy. 

How to enable/disable Sandbox on your Google Chrome?

The Privacy Sandbox option is pre-enabled by default for all Chrome users, however, if you want to manually enable/disable it, here’s how you can do it.

  • Launch Chrome
  • Click on the browser menu (three vertical ellipses on the top right corner)
  • Head over to Settings
  • Under settings, go to Privacy and Security
  • Click on Privacy Sandbox
  • Toggle it to enable/disable it

Hopefully, you found this informative and as the Privacy Sandbox serves as the middle-ground for you and the advertisers, we serve you with all the tech updates. 

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