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Chrome’s privacy sandbox timeline highlights 13 suggestions that Google believes will replace cookies




Over the weekend, Google quietly released a new timeline for releases from the Privacy Sandbox. This is an open source effort to design privacy-aware alternatives to third-party cookies.

And while the timeline release is a bit unannounced, it’s certainly important. The timetable not only gives a clearer picture of when Google wants each part of the sandbox to be released, but also emphasizes the suggestions that Google now expects to reach full release. The 13 APIs on display may well represent the future of digital advertising targeting and measurement.

A clearer timeline

The exact schedule was pretty vague when Google announced last month that it would postpone the deadline for deleting third-party cookies in Chrome. Google has begun encouraging publishers and the advertising industry to move to the privacy sandbox API in “late 2022,” and said it will begin phasing out third-party cookies in “mid 2023.”

The new timeline makes it much clearer. Google has categorized the proposed APIs into four categories based on their purpose. Fighting spam and fraud on the web, displaying relevant content and ads, measuring digital ads, and strengthening cross-site privacy boundaries. Each of these categories has its own deadlines for different stages of development.

One of the things these timelines make clear is that the final deadline for removing third-party cookies is a bit off, but the proposed API discussions on GitHub and the W3C forums are just around the corner. .. The discussion period has already ended for the “Fighting Spam and Fraud on the Web” category. The other three categories will end in just over two months at the end of the third quarter of this year.

At the end of the discussion period, the API will enter the full testing phase. The API may undergo an “origin trial” before it is fully fleshed out to guide development. However, the testing phase is expected to allow developers to test all the features and use cases of the API. The API may still be tuned during this test period. However, these tweaks are expected to improve the tool rather than radically rewrite it.

For most proposals, this testing period will last from the fourth quarter of this year to the end of the second quarter of next year. After this, Google hopes the API will be ready for adoption and will be fully released in Chrome.

Selected one

Perhaps even more important than the timetable itself is the working API.

Google says this isn’t the definitive list of all privacy sandbox tools that will ultimately bear fruit. But they are what Google currently trusts most. And while Google hasn’t ruled out making new additions, given the tight timeline, it seems unlikely that we’ll see any major changes. Most of the proposed tools are expected to be fully fleshed out by early October and ready for comprehensive testing. It is very unlikely that a new API has been proposed, discussed and ready for testing in that time frame.

Therefore, the 13 APIs listed are good candidates for a complete replacement of third-party cookies in Chrome in 2023.

Only two items, FLoC and FLEDGE, are displayed in the Show Related Content and Ads category.

The FLoC API, which handles ad personalization based on user browsing habits, was released for trial earlier this year. Feedback is clearly mixed. Some in the industry have complained that the proposal does not actually protect the privacy of its users, or even argue that it violates existing privacy laws such as the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). increase.

When Google announced the delay last month, some saw it as a sign that Google would dispose of FLoC and spend extra time providing alternatives. However, on Google’s current timeline, managing ad targeting is just one of two APIs. Another FLEDGE specifically handles retargeting and is not a replacement for FLoC. Despite concerns, Google seems to be doing everything in its power with FLoC.

Lukasz Wlodarczyk, director of inventory for advertising technology firm RTB House, hopes Google will release an improved version of FLoC in the near future. “This new version is expected to address both private and public feedback that Google receives from multiple sources, including FLoC’s extensive privacy analysis from Mozilla,” he said.

Another major category of note in the advertising industry is “digital advertising measurement.” It lists four APIs: the Core Attribution API, the Attribution Reporting API with Aggregate Reports, the Cross-Environment Attribution API, and the Aggregation Services Reference.

As VideoWeek previously reported, some in the industry have expressed concern that there is still much work to be done regarding post-cookie measurements. And measurement proposals generally receive far less coverage than their target counterparts.

This timeline is the clearest way to date with the measurement APIs that Google expects to use in the future. And, as mentioned above, the discussion period for these proposals ends in just over two months. For those who are confused or worried about how measurements work in the post-cookie world, it’s time to read these suggestions and join the ongoing discussion.




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