Google is moving forward with the rollout of its Privacy Sandbox APIs, the replacement for tracking cookies in the digital advertising sector. The tech giant announced, in line with the launch of Chrome 115 into the stable release channel, the commencement of the relevance and measurement APIs' activation in its browser. The rollout will be gradual, with Google targeting 99% availability by mid-August.
As of now, Google does not anticipate any substantial changes to the APIs, encompassing almost all core Privacy Sandbox features. These include Topics, Protected Audience, Attribution Reporting, Private Aggregation, Shared Storage, and Fenced Frames. For now, Privacy Sandbox will operate alongside third-party cookies in the browser. Google plans to phase out third-party cookies for 1% of Chrome users in early 2024. The deprecation process will then accelerate, phasing out cookies for all users by the second half of 2024.
The adtech industry had the opportunity to assess its readiness for the upcoming third-party cookie deprecation, partly via the Relevance and Measurement origin trial. As these features move into general availability, Google will conclude this trial and revoke the tokens required for experiments by September 20, 2023.
Simultaneously with the API releases, Google will begin rolling out its user interface to manage Privacy Sandbox data in the browser for Chrome users. This includes ad topics, site-suggested ads, and ad measurement data.
Adtech companies wishing to access these APIs on Chrome and Android will soon need to undergo a mandatory enrollment and attestation process, although local testing will remain possible.
Google described the shipping of these APIs as a key milestone in the Privacy Sandbox timeline. It signifies the start of the transition from testing to integrating these APIs into production, leading towards the complete phaseout of third-party cookies by Q3 2024.