Understand Google’s Privacy Sandbox APIs


5/20/2024 4:15 PM

Google Ad Tech Industry Web

Make smarter decisions with Privacy Sandbox analytics

In 2019, Google announced an initiative that they claim protects people’s privacy while providing digital businesses the tools they need to succeed. They called it ‘Privacy Sandbox’.

“Two Webs”

As a result, we now live in a world of two web business models: Apple’s, and Google’s.

This increases business costs, especially for publishers and advertisers.

Understanding the web technologies available based on the browsers and devices your customers are using ensures your strategy is based on fact. 51Degrees gives you this granularity for Privacy Sandbox, and it takes only a few minutes to add to your analytics.

Privacy Sandbox properties

We can detect whether the following Google Privacy Sandbox APIs are enabled:

  • Protected Audience API
  • Shared Storage API
  • Topics API

To add these properties to your analytics solution, follow the link below for instructions.

Add Privacy Sandbox to your analytics

For developers, each Privacy Sandbox API will have two corresponding properties – one basic property and one JavaScript property. The two will work together to get the most accurate results using both the HTTP headers and JavaScript.

There is also a BrowserSupportsPrivacySandbox property which will indicate if the browser session supports the Privacy Sandbox features.

For each of these properties, the results returned will be one of:

  • True. The browser includes the code and the API is enabled and confirmed via JavaScript.
  • False. The browser includes the code and the API is disabled and confirmed via JavaScript.
  • Not supported. The browser does not include the code for the API.
  • Unknown. The browser includes the code and the API is undetermined.

Try the Privacy Sandbox properties on your device now with our me page.

As Privacy Sandbox is evolving each month, these properties are marked experimental until Google settles on a ratified implementation.

You can check out our property dictionary for more information on these and all our other properties.

How widespread is Google’s Privacy Sandbox?

Just because the web browser has the Privacy Sandbox feature baked into it, that doesn’t mean the user has enabled it. With “Reject All”, needing to be as prominent as “Accept All” in consent dialogue boxes, it seems likely consent rates for Privacy Sandbox will reduce as Google comply with Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) guidelines.

Consent dialogue example from The Guardian.

Understanding the true addressable market for Privacy Sandbox in your business is a must have metric for the C-Suite decision makers.

Illustrative purposes graph based on market share of browsers that may support Privacy Sandbox. Users may enable the features in browsers that may support Privacy sandbox.

Make smarter decisions

We care deeply about the open web. Our CEO James helped found Movement for an Open Web and our code is open source on GitHub. Read about James' motivation to provide these features on LinkedIn.

The Privacy Sandbox properties are also freely available in our cloud service. With these properties, you can easily understand the extent that Privacy Sandbox has fragmented your audience.

We also have over 270 other properties that you can use to enhance your understanding of your audience, including crawler detection and age information of the browser and operating system.

Engage with regulators

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) who are regulating Google’s Privacy Sandbox globally are interested to know the impact on as many businesses as possible.

Use our Privacy Sandbox properties to get data to share with the CMA. Ensure you have bots and crawlers filtered out of your data by using the IsCrawler properties or age of the browser (see our guide to filtering bots from your analytics platforms for more information).

If the fragmentation associated with “Two Webs” and Privacy Sandbox does not increase your costs then the CMA will need to know. Digital regulation only works when the market engages with the regulator.

Add Privacy Sandbox to your analytics