Google starts rolling out Privacy Sandbox Beta to keep you safe from evil advertisers

Google starts rolling out Privacy Sandbox Beta to keep you safe from evil advertisers
Modern smartphones are great and all, but they're also mobile tracking devices that feed evil advertisers your personal data! Well, things might not be as dramatic (or they might actually be worse), but Google is taking steps to keep Android users' data safer.

The Privacy Sandbox was first announced in February last year, and it basically prevents advertisers from snatching your personal data and doing evil things with it. Now the company has started rolling out the feature to Android 13 beta.

The Privacy Sandbox Beta provides new APIs that are designed with privacy at the core, and don’t use identifiers that can track your activity across apps and websites. Apps that choose to participate in the Beta can use these APIs to show you relevant ads and measure their effectiveness.

The Privacy Sandbox is designed to avoid the use of cross-app or device identifiers like the Advertising ID, which Google is actively trying to limit. Instead, this approach uses an estimation process to identify the types of ads that may interest users, temporarily saving these interests on the device.

If you're a part of the Android Beta program, you might see this option in Settings > Privacy > Ads. If you toggle the switch that says "Privacy Sandbox," you will let Android manage your interests and show you relevant ads. This process also depends on the developers, as they need to implement these APIs into their apps, but it's a step in the right direction.

You can also block interests manually, and even though Android would still gather some data to evaluate your interactions with those targeted ads, this information will be deleted on a regular basis, and the amount is limited as well. And while this doesn't seem like a magic bullet, it does provide an additional layer of defense while still maintaining the relevance of the ads served.

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