Next steps Privacy Sandbox general availability and testing at scale

Over the past three years, we’ve worked with the digital ecosystem to develop new technologies that help protect privacy without relying on cross-site tracking IDs or covert techniques like fingerprinting. Last year, we expanded testing to allow developers to evaluate and integrate these new technologies.

Today, we’re sharing an update on the next phase of the Privacy Sandbox for the web as we work toward phasing out third-party cookies in Chrome in the second half of 2024.

General availability of the Privacy Sandbox APIs

With Chrome’s launch in July and in the following weeks, we will begin making the Privacy Sandbox APIs available to all Chrome users.

This allows developers to use these APIs to perform live web traffic at scale to prepare for operating without third party cookies. Prior to the deprecation of third party cookies, we do not plan to make significant changes to the APIs. It is imperative for companies to consider integrating these APIs into their products as they plan the transition to more privacy-friendly solutions that do not rely on third-party cookies.

Support testing at scale with one percent elimination of third party cookies in Q1 2024

To be ready for the internet without third party cookies, it is important that the ecosystem prepares in advance. This preparation includes testing solutions that use the Privacy Sandbox APIs. To support that, we will be taking the following steps in the coming quarters:

In the first quarter of 2024, we plan to phase out support for third-party cookies for 1% of Chrome users. This will help developers test the effectiveness and readiness of their products without third party cookies. In addition, in the fourth quarter of 2023, we will give developers the option to simulate the deprecation of Chrome third party cookies for a configurable percentage of their users. This makes controlled testing possible with a higher level of traffic without third party cookies.

This plan has been developed in consultation with the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), in line with our commitments and public timeline. We will continue to work closely with the CMA as we work towards phasing out third party cookies.

Working with industry

We find the ecosystem engagement so far very encouraging and we will continue to work with the industry on how the Privacy Sandbox technologies can support the transition to a more privacy-friendly web.

“As the industry leader in Protected Audience (formerly FLEDGE) testing, OpenX appreciates Google’s continued commitment to partnering with the ecosystem to improve consumer privacy. Increased traffic and cookie-free testing options will significantly aid in the evaluation of Privacy Sandbox solutions, such as Protected Audience, and preparation for deprecating third-party cookies in Chrome.”
-Paul Ryan, CTO, OpenX

“At RTB House, we appreciate the Chrome team’s attention to tester feedback, including the need to test technologies on traffic that doesn’t rely on third-party cookie data. We are ready to test with increased volume, plan to run scalable developer experiments, and look forward to working with the programmatic supply chain. We believe that the test results will enable us to further refine our solutions based on the privacy-preserving APIs so that they can compete on an equal footing with legacy technologies that rely on third-party cookies.”
– Lukasz Wlodarczyk, VP of Programmatic Ecosystem Growth & Innovation, RTB House

Following comments from the CMA’s Q1 report, we expect a wide range of testing methodologies based on different objectives – from testing at one company to coordinated testing at multiple organizations. We also encourage developers to test the Privacy Sandbox APIs as part of end-to-end solutions.

For more information on the rollout of the Privacy Sandbox APIs, visit Chrome’s blog for developers. We will provide more details in the coming months, including additional guidance on testing metrics and methodologies. We look forward to working with participants from across the industry to improve privacy on the web for everyone.

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