Google Chrome engineers have announced today a new technical proposal that they hope will help restore the balance between user privacy and ad targeting on the internet.
Named the Privacy Sandbox, this is a new open web technology that Google would like to embed in Chrome, but would also like other browsers to adopt.
It consists of new APIs that will allow advertisers to show targeted ads, but without having direct access to users' personal details, as they do now.
An advertiser loading ads on a website will be able to ping a browser for details about a user who accessed a domain. A browser, Chrome in this case, will respond to these API queries with general information detailed enough for the advertiser to get an idea about the user, but not detailed enough to break the user's anonymity.
USERS SHOULD BE TRACKED BY CATEGORY, NOT INDIVIDUALLY
The plan is for browsers to share enough information about users so advertisers can organize users into general groups, rather than create detailed individual profiles.
"Fundamentally, we want to limit how much information about individual users is exposed to sites so that in total it is insufficient to identify and track users across the web, except for possibly as part of large, heterogeneous groups," Google devs said in one of the technical specs.
Google said this system was inspired by the Differential Privacy techniques the company has been using in Chrome for nearly five years to collect anonymous telemetry data from users.