Staff Reporters
Jul 21, 2023

Google forms privacy-first partnership with IMDA and advances Privacy Sandbox APIs

With Google looking to deprecate third-party cookies for 1% of Chrome users in 2024, it is working with partners to help local businesses in Singapore. Google has also announced some progress for its Privacy Sandbox.

Photo: Unsplash
Photo: Unsplash

Singapore's Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and tech giant Google have announced a partnership to support local businesses in navigating a privacy-focused landscape.  

Unveiled during the Personal Data Protection (PDP) Week 2023, the collaboration offers Singaporean businesses the opportunity to test Google's Privacy Sandbox solutions within IMDA's secure Privacy-Enhancing Technologies (PET) Sandbox, giving them the opportunity to utilise or share data without compromising sensitive information. 

According to Denise Wong, deputy commissioner of the PDPC, the partnership aims to strengthen Singapore's position as a trusted data hub, while fostering data innovation and responsible usage.  

Over 70 companies from various sectors are already participating in the first workshop, with more expected to join, providing valuable insights to shape future conversations on PETs. 

Participating businesses can expect to receive industry guidance from Google on protecting user privacy and building successful digital businesses.  

They will also benefit from regulatory guidance from IMDA. Feedback gathered from the pilot program will contribute to the enhancement of Privacy Sandbox technologies, ensuring they cater to business needs and assist IMDA in formulating regulatory guidelines for PETs. 

The initiative is open to Singapore-based businesses, including adtech companies, publishers, and developers, among others. 

Google advances Privacy Sandbox APIs

In parallel, Google is making progress with its Privacy Sandbox APIs, which are designed to replace tracking cookies in the online advertising industry.  

Google recently announced the rollout of the relevance and measurement APIs in Chrome 115's stable release channel, aiming for a 99% availability by mid-August. 

While Privacy Sandbox APIs are gradually rolling out, Google does not anticipate making substantial changes to the existing features, which include Topics, Protected Audience, Attribution Reporting, Private Aggregation, Shared Storage, and Fenced Frames. 

Privacy Sandbox will coexist with third-party cookies in the browser for the time being, as Google plans to deprecate third-party cookies for 1% of Chrome users in early 2024 and gradually eliminate them for all users by the second half of 2024. 

The adtech industry had the opportunity to assess its readiness for third-party cookie deprecation through the Relevance and Measurement origin trial. With these features now available to all, the trial will end on September 20, 2023. 

Additionally, Google will introduce a user interface for Chrome users to manage Privacy Sandbox data, including ad topics, site-suggested ads, and ad measurement data. This rollout will run alongside the API releases. 

Google will soon make enrollment and attestation mandatory for adtech companies seeking access to these APIs on Chrome and Android. However, companies will still have the ability to perform local testing. 

The company stated that the API releases are a crucial milestone in the ongoing Privacy Sandbox timeline. As the process progresses, opt-in testing with labels is expected in Q4 2023, followed by the 1% third-party cookie deprecation in Q1 2024, leading to a full third-party cookie phase-out in Q3 2024. 

Campaign Asia

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