At the start of 2022, Google announced that the Privacy Sandbox was dropping FLoC as its proposal to replace third-party cookies for online ads. The company shared today that it will start trialing FLEDGE, Attribution Reporting, and Topics in Chrome and showed off end user control settings for the latter.

These proposals are designed to replace third-party cookies while preserving privacy, and their Origin Trials start in Chrome Canary today:

  • Topics: relevant ads based on your recent interests
  • FLEDGE: “On-device auctions by the browser, to choose relevant ads from websites the user has previously visited”
  • Attribution reporting: for campaign performance

…we’ll progress to origin trials with a limited number of Chrome Beta users as soon as possible. Once things are working smoothly in Beta, we’ll make the origin trials available in the stable version of Chrome to further expand the test population to a larger subset of Chrome users

Up-to-date testing timelines can be found here. Google is actively seeking feedback from the industry as companies begin to “integrate the APIs and validate data flows.” 

It will take some time to build multi-party integrations across adtech companies and address any issues that are uncovered during setup. We expect to hear more feedback on business use cases once companies have been able to run tests over a sufficient period of time.  

General availability will come when Google is “confident the APIs are working as designed.” In terms of end user controls for Topics and FLEDGE, Google is updating the Privacy Sandbox page in Chrome settings (under Privacy and security).

Of note is the list of “interests estimated by Chrome” that appear under “Browser-based personalization.” Users can remove topics as well as the “Sites you visit that define your interest” or disable the trial entirely.

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About the Author

Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: