With the cookies dying, we’ve all read about Google’s ambition to take a collaborative approach with the AdTech ecosystem to build a more privacy-first web.

While the Chrome Privacy Sandbox has already placed an expiration date on third-party cookies, Google announced on February 16, 2022, that they are also working towards Android Privacy Sandbox, which will place an expiration date for Android tracking signals such as Device ID.

You’d ask, why this matters to us. There are two reasons why it matters:

  • This initiative has the potential to significantly change targeting and tracking methods that currently drive marketing efforts on Android-powered devices.
  • Despite the increasing share of Apple iOS in India, we continue to be an Android-dominant market still.

Things to watch out for:

Google’s announcement makes it clear that they will “continue to support First-Party Data use cases, while [they] build these new solutions to reduce the need for third-party data sharing”, reinforcing the need for brands to invest in creating consented 1PD.

Further, access to existing ads platform features, inclusive of device ID, will remain viable for at least two years and they have committed to providing substantial notice prior to deprecation.

The full scope of changes that will take place in the Android Privacy Sandbox are unclear at this time. What remains unclear is if this update will have extensibility to all devices that run on Android, such as OTT and Connected TV devices or just be confined to mobile, and whether it will impact other signals such as IP signals as well.


Our recommendation to marketers:

As marketers, we need to start preparing, but should not panic.

It is important to reiterate this will roll out over the next 24 months or more and there are no immediate changes required to existing campaigns at this time. To prepare, advertisers should continue to seek out opportunities for targeting and measurement that are not dependent on cross-app and Third-Party Data.

Similar to the Chrome initiative, the Android Sandbox APIs are intended to support measurement use cases such as conversion tracking and attribution studies, as well as targeting solutions to enable ad personalisation inclusive of retargeting.


Author: Rashmi Sehgal, Digital Transformation  Lead & Senior VP, Zenith India

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