Android Privacy Sandbox

Singular starts testing Android Privacy Sandbox

By John Koetsier August 24, 2023

TLDR: Singular is now actively testing Android Privacy Sandbox with partners

The Privacy Sandbox on Android is moving along quickly, and presents an opportunity to change how advertisers will target, measure, attribute, and generally approach marketing efforts on Android in a way that will be more privacy-preserving by design. Singular is preparing for this by investing in reviewing, providing feedback, and testing the various tools Google is offering via the Privacy Sandbox for Android and finding ways to incorporate them into our solutions for marketers.  

In a major development for Singular’s testing, Singular is announcing today that it is kicking off live testing of the Privacy Sandbox Attribution Reporting API with Gameloft, one of the biggest game makers in the industry, and Google Ads.

The Attribution Reporting API is the Privacy Sandbox’s  privacy-preserving marketing measurement and attribution tool that can be used in place of the Google Advertising ID (GAID).

Privacy Sandbox development is moving fast 

Approximately 1% of Android devices currently support the capabilities of the Privacy Sandbox. That’s going to grow over time as Google rolls out the Privacy Sandbox APIs for testing over the coming months.

Although no changes will be made to the GAID at least until the end of 2024, we expect to be running tests of the Privacy Sandbox tools next year, so we’ve started getting ready.  We’re excited to start experimenting early to uncover what works best for us and find the best outcomes.

Over the last year, we’ve worked closely with the Android Privacy Sandbox team to understand the Attribution Reporting API and work towards our implementation. As of now, we’re fully integrated, have run an end-to-end simulation internally, and we’re now ready to kick off our external testing phase with partners. The first milestone in our partner testing was to complete the end-to-end test we’re running with Google Ads to ensure all the connections are working properly before introducing our other beta partner Gameloft. 

End-to-end partner testing

We’ll be testing a full end-to-end advertising campaign measured using the Attribution Reporting API:

  1. Gameloft will be using Singular’s SDK with the Privacy Sandbox enabled in one of their games, and start a live test campaign on Google Ads using the Privacy Sandbox.
  2. Any Android users with Privacy Sandbox-capable devices will be eligible for ads that register the ad engagement using the Attribution Reporting API:
    1. When an Android user views or clicks an ad from this campaign, Google’s AdMob SDK registers the views and clicks (called “sources” in the Privacy Sandbox).
    2. Once the Android user installs the app and starts playing Gameloft’s game, the Singular SDK registers the game activity as conversion events (called “triggers” in the Privacy Sandbox) based on Gameloft’s configured conversion model.
  3. The Attribution Reporting API runs on-device, and attributes triggers to sources for any ad tech platform that initiated the registrations. In this case, that means matching Singular’s registered triggers with Google Ads’ registered sources:
    1. As a result, Singular receives event-level attributions from the device, and uses the Attribution Reporting redirect mechanism to forward them directly to Google Ads in real-time for their optimization and reporting.
    2. In parallel, Singular also receives encrypted aggregatable reports from the device and uses their Aggregation Service implementation to decrypt the batched results and provide Gameloft with granular and deduplicated performance reports across all their media partners.

“Gameloft is excited to partner with Singular and Google Ads on this privacy initiative. We believe that privacy frameworks like Privacy Sandbox on Android are the future of privacy-safe marketing.”

Vasil Georgiev, User Acquisition Team Lead @ Gameloft

What’s coming next

The good news for app publishers is that Singular will be managing all of this complexity for clients, enabling them to focus on their apps and their marketing campaigns.

If you’re a mobile publisher and a Singular client, we’re happy to discuss how you can get involved in testing. 

In addition to beta testing with Gameloft and Google Ads, we’re also collaborating closely with the Privacy Sandbox team, and this test is a big milestone that will help glean insights into what’s working, what’s challenging, and where improvements can be made.

Stay tuned as we’ll be sharing our learnings to provide guidance around how your team can get started and see success with the Privacy Sandbox on Android. 

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