Google’s Privacy Sandbox and its associated FLoC tracking program have been met with much opposition, leading to the company postponing the implementation of the ad tracking personalization technology. Microsoft has now stepped in with its own program to improve user privacy while maintaining a healthy ad revenue ecosystem for web sites and apps.
Microsoft’s program is called Transparent Ads and is now available in the latest Canary build of Microsoft Edge.
Microsoft says Transparent Ads have been designed to raise the bar on transparency and control with new privacy standards for personalized ads on the web.
With transparent ads, Microsoft Edge will be able to show people information about the personal data that is collected as they browse, who has access to the personal data, and which ads are personalized because of it. People can understand why they’re seeing specific ads and where they came from.
For ads personalized by a transparent ads-approved provider, a user will be able to:
- See which ad provider is a part of the Transparent Ad Provider program.
- See which ad provider is responsible for an ad.
- See information about the data an ad provider collected or inferred to personalize that ad.
- See the sites that an ad provider tracked the user across.
- Visit the ad provider’s page to delete or de-identify any previously collected data.
- Disable transparent ads in Microsoft Edge settings. When disabled, approved providers will not collect personal data in Microsoft Edge for personalized advertising.
These transparent ads are enabled through ad providers joining the Transparent Ads Provider program. Ad providers that join the Transparent Ads Provider program are contractually required to meet privacy requirements and will be exempt from tracking prevention enforcements in Balanced mode to allow more personalized ads.
Users can disable transparent ads in settings if they choose and Strict mode of tracking prevention will not change and will continue to block a majority of trackers from all sites.
You can try it out using the Canary Build of Edge by visiting the demo page here.
Microsoft says the current move is just a bridge until new private advertising APIs have been standardized and broadly adopted. Read more about the solution at Microsoft here.
With Microsoft building more and more commercialization and revenue generating features into Edge, I suspect this latest move will not be well received. What do our readers think? Let us know below.