To protect user privacy and also help content remain freely accessible on the web, search giant Google has announced a new ‘Privacy Sandbox’ – a set of open standards to fundamentally enhance privacy on the web.
And as online advertising has become an important part of business, Google wants to show only relevant ads to users, and wants minimise their personal data shared with websites and advertisers.
Google says large scale blocking of cookies undermine people’s privacy by encouraging opaque techniques such as fingerprinting. With fingerprinting, developers have found ways to use tiny bits of information that vary between users, such as what device they have or what fonts they have installed to generate a unique identifier which can then be used to match a user across websites. Unlike cookies, users cannot clear their fingerprint, and therefore cannot control how their information is collected.
Blocking cookies significantly reduces publishers’ primary means of funding, which jeopardises the future of the vibrant web. According to studies, when advertising is made less relevant by removing cookies, funding for publishers falls by 52 per cent on average.
Thus, Google decided to do things differently.
‘We want to find a solution that both really protects user privacy and also helps content remain freely accessible on the web. At I/O, we announced a plan to improve the classification of cookies, give clarity and visibility to cookie settings, as well as plans to more aggressively block fingerprinting. We are making progress on this, and today we are providing more details on our plans to restrict fingerprinting. Collectively we believe all these changes will improve transparency, choice, and control,’ Google said.