Google unveils another step in its much-needed privacy boost

Google has announced that its Privacy Sandbox proposal is one step closer to becoming reality as the company is preparing its next stage of trials which will focus on ads relevance and measurement.

For those unfamiliar, the search giant first unveiled its Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) plan to replace third-party browser cookies before announcing Google Topics as part of its Privacy Sandbox initiative as a replacement following backlash on the move. 

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As the name suggests, Google Topics splits the web into different topics and divides users into groupings depending on their interests. Meanwhile, FLEDGE is dedicated to facilitating remarketing or showing ads on websites based on a user’s previous browsing history.

Now though, Google is moving ahead with testing its Privacy Sandbox and developers will be able to begin testing the Topics, FLEDGE and Attribution Reporting APIs in Chrome Canary.

Privacy Sandbox testing

Google plans to begin testing Topics and Fledge with a limited number of Chrome Beta users before making API testing available in the stable version of Chrome once things are working smoothly in Beta according to a new blog post.

The company also plans to begin testing its updated Privacy Sandbox settings and controls that will allow users to see and manage the interests associated with them or turn off the trials altogether.

Product director for Privacy Sandbox, Vinay Goel also provided some sample images of the settings the search giant plans to test in his blog post. In the Privacy Sandbox Beta menu, users will be able to toggle the trials on or off as well as customize their choices for Browser-based ad personalization, Ad measurement and Spam & fraud reduction. Here they’ll be able to remove interests from Topics and edit the list of sites that Privacy Sandbox users to infer their interests.

While Chrome users in the US will be opted in to the latest Privacy Sandbox trials, those in the EU will have to opt in by changing the position of the toggle in settings. This is due to GDPR and other data protection laws that apply to Europeans.

We’ll likely hear more from Google once its initial trials are complete and the company expands them to the stable version of Chrome.

Via TechCrunch

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This Google update will help you free up much-needed space on your Android phone

One of Google's most unsung apps is getting a useful upgrade that could help you clear out unwanted items from your Android phone.

As the name suggests, the Files by Google app governs all the files, apps and other items on your Android device, but can often provide a somewhat cluttered and even confusing experience.

However, an update to the app is adding a number of new search chip filters to help you quickly and easily find items that can be deleted to free up cloud storage space.

Files by Google update

Search chips essentially look to display possible results as a user is typing in the search bar, offering autofill suggestions and other possibilities for what it thinks they could be looking for.

Now, users will see new filters when accessing the “Browse” menu in Files by Google. For example, selecting Apps within this menu will now offer the chance to filter out into certain groups – currently “large apps”, “unused apps” and “Games” – with each list also displaying extra information such as the size of the app and when it was last updated.

The app allows multiple filters to be active at the same time, so you could, for example, quickly spot which games you've installed but have never actually played.

The tool appears to be active now, so users should look to update their Files by Google app as soon as possible to benefit.

The company has also recently introduced chip search filters to a number of its Google Workspace software tools, including Gmail and Google Drive, giving users a faster way to find the exact file they are hunting for.

Going forward, instead of just using keywords such as “marketing plan” or “sales report,” which may return results that are too broad, users can use search chips to surface more relevant results.

The results can be file types, such as a Google Doc, PDF or image, but also related to a specific person, location (such as in a shared drive or folder) or when a file was last modified.

Via AndroidPolice

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