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Google Announces New Initiatives to Improve User Privacy


Google Announces New Initiatives to Improve User Privacy

Since the issue of the death warrant of third party cookies on the Chrome browser was announced earlier this year, the company has been hard at work to provide new tools for both users as well as advertisers to have a more safe and secure experience. Communicate attended a press conference last week to get a first-hand look at the new updates to be launched very soon.

From Why this ad to About this ad

Google is making a few tweaks to the “why this ad” button, a longstanding feature that allows users to get more information on some of the factors that were used to select the ad for them, or choose to stop seeing that ad.  Mike Schulman, Google’s vice president for ads privacy and safety, stated in a blog post that 15 million people interact with this icon to learn more about and control the ads they see in a single day. 

The new update called “about this ad” will show users the verified name of the advertiser behind each ad. About this ad will initially be available for display ads purchased through Google Ads and Display & Video 360, and we’ll bring it to other ad surfaces throughout 2021.

Introducing Trust Tokens

Chrome continues to explore more privacy-forward ways for the web browser to support digital ads with the Privacy Sandbox open standards initiative. It wants to offer privacy-preserving alternatives for ad selection and conversion measurement. To combat advertising fraud and identify real users, Google is proposing the Trust tokens API. 

Trust tokens would potentially enable websites and services to ensure that they’re able to evaluate a users’ authenticity without the need to know his/her actual identity. Unlike cookies, trust tokens are identical across the board and can’t be used to uniquely identify an individual, because they’re theoretically all the same. They’re considered to be a privacy enabling solution because they don’t enable individual users to be identified or tracked across websites. They are cryptographically signed by the issuer, so they can’t be forged either. Trust Tokens are available now for developer testing, with Google planning to move to live-testing real soon.

Ads Transparency Spotlight

The new extension that is currently in alpha, will provide users with details about ads on a given page, see why ads are shown on a page, and a list of other companies and services with a presence on the page, such as website analytics or content delivery networks. The extension is currently available for users to try out.

Google continues to move the digital ads industry towards a more privacy forward future; as the company continues to explore a range of approaches to help improve user privacy, while ensuring publishers earn what they need to fund great content and advertisers are able to reach the right people with their products and services. However, the road to getting there is long and arduous, and it will require the collaboration of all parties involved, to be able to create a landscape where everyone thrives.

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