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March 28, 2023
7 min read

Google Privacy Sandbox: A New Reality for App Measurement

Google's new Privacy Sandbox on Android is set to revolutionize the app measurement and marketing landscape.

Google Privacy Sandbox: A New Reality for App Measurement

Google's Privacy Sandbox creators want to give users more control over data shared with third-party apps. They also plan to replace third-party trackers with Google's own secure and privacy-focused solutions. This will make it easier for app developers and marketers to measure their campaigns and optimize their ads. Let’s try to go through this news.

Overview of Google Privacy Sandbox

Google has recently unveiled the Privacy Sandbox initiative. It provides a secure and private way for users to access online content.  The Privacy Sandbox is a set of open standards that aim to protect user privacy while still allowing for effective ad targeting and measurement. This initiative already impacted Android app measurement. The data collection process means that developers and advertisers will need to adapt their strategies in order to continue delivering effective ads to their users.

iOS user privacy initiatives vs. Android user privacy initiatives

More recently, the mobile community experienced updates to Apple's privacy rules which influenced iOS ad tracking significantly. Will it help to adapt mobile businesses to Android updates faster?

On one hand, we have Apple's privacy initiatives, including App Tracking Transparency (ATT) and the App Store Privacy Labels. ATT requires app developers to obtain users' permission for tracking and data sharing, while the Privacy Labels are designed to provide users with more information on how their data is collected and used.

On the other hand, Google's Privacy Sandbox is an attempt to provide an alternative to ATT, while still protecting user privacy. The Privacy Sandbox will use aggregated and anonymized data to understand user behavior and measure the performance of apps without relying on personally identifiable information.

Google is also developing new technologies to help advertisers measure the effectiveness of their campaigns without relying on personal data. As a result, we should have something like SKAdNetwork.

Both Apple and Google are moving towards protecting user privacy while providing app developers with the necessary tools to measure their app performance. While it remains to be seen which approach will be more successful, it is clear that user privacy is becoming increasingly important and app developers must be aware of the changes in order to remain competitive in the market.

Impact of Google Privacy Sandbox on Android app measurement

Google Privacy Sandbox affects Android app measurement in several ways:

  • First, it limits the amount of user data that can be collected, as many of the data points that were previously available are now off-limits due to privacy concerns. This means that developers and advertisers will need to find new ways to measure and target their users in order to deliver effective ads. 
  • Second, it affects the types of data that can be collected. For example, some of the data points that were previously available, such as location data, are now unavailable due to privacy concerns. 
  • Finally, it affects the accuracy of the data that can be collected. Due to the privacy controls that are in place, the data that is collected may not be as accurate as it was previously.

Challenges of Google Privacy Sandbox implementation

There are two big challenges of using Google Privacy Sandbox that developers and advertisers need to be aware of. 

  • First, there are some technical challenges, such as the need to adapt existing measurement strategies to the new system. 
  • Second, there are privacy challenges, as the privacy controls in place may limit the types of data that can be collected and the accuracy of the data.

The logical question is how to prepare for these updates and not lose the data.

1. Update Your App to Comply with Google Play Policies: Ensure that your app is up-to-date with Google Play policies regarding user data and privacy. This includes notifying users if your app collects personal data and how it’s used.

2. Use Google’s Advertising ID for Advertising: Use Google’s Advertising ID (GAID) for advertising purposes. This helps ensure that your marketing campaigns are compliant with Google’s privacy sandbox.

3. Use Contextual Targeting: Leverage contextual targeting for your campaigns. This enables you to target users based on their interests, without collecting any personal data.

Google committed to creating an excellent ad measurement tool for advertisers not to allow their audience to decrease. At least, they already have Apple experience. That's why we could assume that the transition period will be smoother for app developers and mobile advertisers.

Advantages of app measurement under Google Privacy Sandbox

Despite the challenges of implementing Google Privacy Sandbox, there are still some advantages to app measurement under this new system.

  • First, the privacy controls in place help to ensure that user data is kept secure, which is beneficial for both users and advertisers.
  • Second, the data that is collected is more representative, as the privacy controls help to ensure that only relevant data is collected.
  • Finally, it allows for more targeted ads, as advertisers can focus on the data points that are available and use them to deliver more effective and relevant ads.

What we changed in Apphud

We have updated Android SDK to version 1.8.0 which reflects recent privacy changes. Important Note: Advertising Identifier is not collecting automatically anymore. You must manually call Apphud.collectDeviceIdentifiers() method after SDK initialization. When targeting Android 13 and above, you must also declare AD_ID permission in the manifest file. Look at our documentation for more details.


Google Privacy Sandbox has already had an impact on Android app measurement, and developers and advertisers need to be aware of the changes it brings. As the Privacy Sandbox initiative continues to evolve, developers and advertisers will need to stay up-to-date on the changes it brings and adapt their strategies accordingly. To monitor the news, check the official Android developers' website.

At Apphud, we recognize the significance of app revenue analytics for app revenue growth. Hence, we prioritize data precision. Our platform supplies you with the most accurate app revenue data to provide you with growth hypotheses. Sign up for Apphud today!

Head of Marketing at Apphud
7+ years in product marketing. Nataly is responsible for marketing strategy development and execution. Committed adherent of the agile methodology.

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