Originally, Google’s Privacy Sandbox initiative was set to launch in early 2022. However, it was announced that the launch has been delayed and developers are now aiming for a Q3 2023 launch. This is because the technology needed to create the Privacy Sandbox is not yet ready. In addition, Google developers have also announced that they predict third-party cookies will begin to be phased out in the second half of 2024. While this delay may be disappointing to some, it is important to remember that the goal of the Privacy Sandbox is to protect people’s privacy. Therefore, the extra time spent developing the technology is likely to result in a better product that will benefit everyone in the long run.
Why the delay
The reasons for the delays are because of steady feedback from developers, marketers, and publishers, and more testing needs to be done. Some of the technologies in the Privacy Sandbox need more time to be developed so they can be used on a wide scale. Furthermore, the team wants to do more user testing to make sure that people’s privacy is protected when using these technologies. The goal of the Privacy Sandbox is to protect people’s privacy while still allowing publishers and advertisers to reach their audiences. Therefore, the extra time being spent on developing the technology is likely to result in a better product that will benefit everyone in the long run.
What this means for you
If you are a publisher or advertiser, this delay gives you more time to prepare for the upcoming changes. You can use this time to learn about the Privacy Sandbox and how it will impact your business. In addition, you can start testing some of the new technologies in the Privacy Sandbox so that you are familiar with them when they are eventually released. If you are a web user, this delay means that third-party cookies will not be phased out as early as originally planned.
Early Testing for developers
Developers can test the Privacy Sandbox API now. Trials will be released in early August as they’re released to millions of users globally. After that, there are plans to gradually increase the trial population throughout the rest of the year and into 2023.
What to expect
By Q3 2023 the Privacy Sandbox APIs are to be launched and largely available in Chrome. As developers use these APIs, Google now intends to begin phasing out third-party cookies in Chrome in the later half of 2024.
Heart of the matter
The Privacy Sandbox is a set of APIs proposed by Google that restricts how cookies and other tracking mechanisms can be used in the Chrome browser. The stated goal is to “enable better privacy for users while still supporting publishers’ and advertisers’ businesses”. The initiative has been controversial, with some seeing it as a way for Google to entrench its dominance in online advertising, and others hailing it as a potential breakthrough for privacy conscious consumers. It looks like we’ll have at least another year to prepare.