Android phones are getting a welcome ad privacy upgrade

Samsung Galaxy S23 hands on display macro
The Google Play Store on Samsung's Galaxy S23 (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

A beta version of Google’s Privacy Sandbox has been rolling out to certain Android users since earlier this year, but now, even more users are being prompted about the upgrade (via 9To5Google).

The notification reportedly reads: “Now, there’s more choice over the ads you see while protecting your identity.”

According to the summary, both the operating system and apps can take note of topics of interest in order to show a user more personalized ads.

Privacy Sandbox on Android

Privacy Sandbox promises to be a more privacy-focused way of managing personalized ads, by eliminating the need for cross-app tracking. The information is also set to stay on the device rather than being stored on a remote server somewhere.

For Privacy Sandbox on Android, there are three distinct categories. Ad topics looks to pull data in from apps that a user has accessed recently. There’s also an app-suggested ads section and ad measurement which is designed to let advertisers measure the success of their ad campaigns.

Those familiar with online privacy will already be familiar with Privacy Sandbox, a Google initiative that is designed to bridge the gap between protecting user privacy and providing companies with the tools they need (read: tracking data) to keep business booming.

Privacy Sandbox for Chrome is already gradually rolling out, and third-party cookies will be disabled for the browser by Q3 2024 according to current estimates.

Google says that Privacy Sandbox for Android is designed to “[help] apps remain free through ads while your data stays protected.”

According to the company, though, testing is expected to last two years and details on how the world will look on the other side of the rollout are thin. It’s also worth considering that progress on the Chrome side of things has met some delays on the way, too.

Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!