Google announces plan to tackle privacy issues in online advertising | Google

Google has announced a plan to tackle privacy issues in online advertising, as the company tries to find common ground between Apple’s privacy-focused approach and the needs of advertisers, including understood herself.

Google will use AI to group an individual user with similar visitors in an effort to convince users that they do not need to block all internet tracking to maintain their privacy. It will also use a “trusted server” to store ads without needing to connect to hundreds of vendors across the web, and cryptography to ensure advertisers only find the information they need to pay for Web sites.

“We think the idea that ‘it’s privacy or advertising’ is a false choice,” said Chetna Bindra, head of user trust and privacy for advertising at Google. “We truly believe there is a way to meet user expectations and protect their identity, while enabling ad-supported content.”

Google says it will soon start experimenting in Chrome, its browser, how to actually do it. A new “privacy sandbox” brings together five proposals with bird-themed codenames, including Floc (federated cohort learning), Fledge (the first “locally executed decision on groups” experiment), and dove (two uncorrelated requests, then locally executed decision on the win), which explore different ways to allow advertisers to continue to target ads across the Internet, but without the vast monitoring ecosystem that exists to support it.

It’s an approach that differs from the simpler option chosen by Apple for Safari: just block all surveillance. Bindra said there were several reasons why the company took a different route.

The first is that Google has a more optimistic view than its competitor of the importance of advertising. “We believe ads play a major role in making the internet an accessible and open place,” she said, citing specifically the need for marketers “to connect with people who are interested in what’s happening.” they have to offer”.

But that optimism goes hand in hand with a pessimistic view of what blocking surveillance really means: an arms race between blockers and blockers. “A big part of that effort has been to make sure the ad industry isn’t pushed into workarounds for their business where they actually circumvent true user privacy,” Bindra said. “We’ve certainly seen this happen over the past couple of years, where companies have been looking at things like fingerprinting and other alternative techniques to be able to circumvent the lack of third-party cookies in some browsers.”

But whatever Google does to online advertising, the company is walking a tightrope. With Chrome’s share of the browser market and Google’s share of the online advertising market, he has to keep an eye on the Competition and Markets Authority, which has already announced its intention to try to limit the power of Google. At the same time, he has to satisfy the Office of the Information Commissioner, who has launched its own investigation in privacy in the adtech ecosystem.