Google Privacy Sandbox Hits Major Challenges In Early Tests

IAB Tech Lab, an ad-tech industry trade group funded by its members, has identified major challenges in support of Google’s Privacy Sandbox tool as Alphabet’s company pushes to eliminate cookie tracking from its Chrome browser.

Anthony Katsur, CEO of IAB Tech Lab, couldn’t stress enough the radical change being implemented in Privacy Sandbox compared with how advertising has worked in the past 30 years.

He called it a “massive sea-change that the industry must get ahead of sooner, rather than later." Not only is it a radical departure from the past three decades, but the IAB Tech Lab working group spearheaded with testing Google Privacy Sandbox has seen some “real challenges.”

There are issues when supporting high-value ad formats like digital video. Based on the analysis, competitive ad separation does not work as it should, meaning that ads from Coca-Cola and Pepsi could appear on the same page.  



There also are concerns around brand safety, traditional ad fraud, and the potential for other types of fraud and factors.

Katsur made it clear that the tests are ongoing, and that the working group has not finalized analysis. There is another week or week and a half to go.

Last week, Google began phasing out third-party cookies in Chrome for 1% of users, with the goal of eliminating all cookies by the third quarter of this year.

At the same time, the independent ad- exchange Index Exchange donated an advanced Privacy Sandbox Demo tool to the IAB Lab Privacy Sandbox Taskforce.

This demo tool provides an open-source platform for agencies, publishers and ad-tech companies to explore and better understand the functions of Google’s Privacy Sandbox Protected Audience APIs.

Fundamental use cases of digital advertising like frequency capping, video advertising, audience creation, impression counting, and more are impacted, unaddressed, or unsupported by the changes, the working group notes.

“I encourage advertisers to ask their agency and DSP partners to leverage the tool because it will provide insight into how Privacy Sandbox,” Katsur said. “It will foster a better understanding of how Privacy Sandbox works and how publishers and brands need to respond to the changes.”

1 comment about "Google Privacy Sandbox Hits Major Challenges In Early Tests".
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  1. Jim Meskauskas from Media Darwin, Inc., January 16, 2024 at 5:35 p.m.

    The challenge of ways to end-run cookie depreciation isn't going to be solved by looking at the future of digital advertising as a website-based enterprise. Mentioning problems like no competitive commercial separation on a page suggests the problem-solving is focused on web pages. This is not the future of advertising. That's like trying to figure out how to make the streets better for air travel. The entire apparatus needs to be rethought.  

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