Mobile App Terminology

Privacy Sandbox on Android

What is Privacy Sandbox on Android?

Privacy Sandbox on Android is Google’s proposal for managing privacy-safe mobile advertising and marketing measurement on the Android platform, primarily for app install campaigns. The goal is increasing consumer privacy while also allowing advertisers to confidently create ad campaigns and measure key performance indicators for their investment.

Privacy Sandbox on Android closely follows Google’s proposals for Privacy Sandbox on Chrome, which is intended to prevent covert tracking via third-party cookies, fight spam, and strengthen privacy on the web while also enabling internet advertising. On mobile, Google is working to eliminate the Google Ad ID, or GAID.

Advertisers use the GAID currently to measure ad effectiveness, know who has seen their ad, and optimize creative strategy. However, mobile device identifiers like the GAID can also be used for tracking and privacy violations. Privacy Sandbox on Android will eliminate the need for device identifiers by ad targeting on device via a technology called Topics. Google is also building in the ability to do retargeting (see the related concept reattribution) — which can’t be done on iOS using SKAdNetwork — via a technology called FLEDGE.

Both are privacy-safe, using on-device data and not requiring personally identifiable information.

As Forbes says:

[Privacy Sandbox for Android] is a fairly comprehensive set of tools for doing what business needs in the advertising ecosystem on the one hand, such as where should I show ads? Who should I show ads to? How can I show ads to people who used to use my product? How do I know when my ads worked? Do people like this creative in my ad or that creative? How can I be more efficient about which ad campaigns I invest in?

… and also for providing much more privacy for people who use Android on the other hand. Current web ad targeting works by vacuuming data from your online activity via third-party cookies: visit a website which sets a cookie, and it can track you around the web. And current ad targeting on mobile works by vacuuming data from your app activity via the Google Ad ID.

In addition, Google is adding a technology called Attribution Reporting to Privacy Sandbox for Android which is the functionality for mobile attribution post-GAID. Unsurprisingly, since Google is the world’s largest ad network and understands mobile advertising at a very deep level, Attribution Reporting provides strong capabilities for reporting ad clicks, store views, plus conversion events like installs, purchases, and sign-ups in advertisers’ apps. That data will be available in both event-level reports and aggregated reports that provide good detail for marketers on upper-funnel results such as campaign and creative performance, as well as some privacy-safe detail on lower-funnel conversions like revenue and number of purchases.

Want to ensure you are ready for Android Privacy Sandbox as soon as it arrives?

Learn how Singular MMP is can help!

Uses of Privacy Sandbox for Android

While the technology is at least two years away from being fully implemented and launched, and GAID will be supported for at least that length of time, Privacy Sandbox for Android will be the SKAdNetwork of Android. In other words, Privacy Sandbox will give marketers the data they need to see the results of their ads and campaigns and the ability to optimize future campaigns.

Google’s building in a significant amount of capability here, including 64 bits of data for campaign results, which offers virtually unlimited ability to encode campaign data like creative, ad set, click IDs, region, country, and many other variables.

That means marketers will be able to build extensive reporting on Privacy Sandbox for Android, giving them deep insight — much deeper than SKAdNetwork on iOS — into marketing effectiveness and in-app results.

In other words, app publishers and marketers will be able to determine what campaigns drive the most installs, the most revenue, and the highest amount of in-app engagement. That includes return on investment. Marketers will also be able to know which channels and ad partners performed the best, and even get some insight into multi-touch attribution.

Want to ensure you are ready for Android Privacy Sandbox as soon as it arrives?

Learn how Singular MMP is can help!

How Singular works with Privacy Sandbox for Android

Privacy Sandbox for Android is currently a proposal, but just as Singular immediately began implementing MMP technology for mobile attribution for Apple’s SKAN, we are already working on Privacy Sandbox and contributing to changes and updates, as Google is working very collaboratively on this project.

Singular will fully support Privacy Sandbox for Android as it rolls out in beta in early 2023 and as it gets finalized in 2024, at the earliest. At the same time, we’ll maintain our current capabilities around GAID, and continue to extend our growing capability to merge multiple datastreams from both upper and lower funnels as well as in-app events to ensure mobile marketers have the most nuanced and comprehensive understanding of their marketing campaigns and impacts.

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