May 13, 2024

Integrating with Privacy Sandbox: An overview of the solution & adoption tracking

At Yahoo, we’ve been investing in Yahoo Identity Solutions to future-proof advertisers’ businesses against the deprecation of third-party cookies. At the same time, we believe collaboration with industry bodies is critical. That’s why we are currently testing Privacy Sandbox. Read on to learn more about it and get insights into publishers' adoption of Privacy Sandbox through our report, which we’ll be updating periodically.

Gio Gardelli

Vice President of Ads Data Products

Integrating with Privacy Sandbox: An overview of the solution & adoption tracking 

The industry is undergoing an identity transformation and is preparing for a new era of advertising where user privacy is at the center and third-party cookies are eliminated by browsers. The biggest transition is now being undertaken by Chrome, the largest browser that still allows third-party cookies. And despite Google’s recent announcement to delay the full deprecation of third-party cookies, still today 1% of Chrome traffic is cookieless. Chrome is planning to proceed to the restriction of third-party cookies for 100% of users in early 2025, and they’re currently working with UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to achieve that. Yahoo is participating in Chrome’s transition, by testing Privacy Sandbox, Google’s alternative solution. The results of the testing will inform how Google integrates Privacy Sandbox to meet advertiser and industry needs. 

We believe in industry collaboration

At Yahoo we’ve been building our proprietary solutions for the identity-constrained world for years, but we also believe that collaboration is critical for a thriving advertising ecosystem. Our integration with the Privacy Sandbox technologies will provide our feedback once the testing has been completed, directly to the Chrome team and inform the evolution of the APIs to maximize the value for our clients. We’re currently testing Privacy Sandbox APIs for targeting and measurement: Protected Audience, Topics, Attribution Reporting API for targeting and measurement, and at the same time, we collaborate with industry parties such as IAB Tech Lab to explore, evaluate, and develop privacy-respecting solutions for adoption at scale and provide our advertisers with choices. Similarly to Chrome, other browsers have chosen to also develop their own solutions. Yahoo has already been testing some of these technologies and will continue to do so in the future.

The cookieless era of advertising:  It’s a challenging, but necessary change

As with every change that happens in the industry, it takes effort and time to learn how to function in the cookieless advertising ecosystem and develop workable alternative technologies, including Privacy Sandbox. But despite the challenge coming with the change, there is an opportunity to reshape the advertising ecosystem. And testing is an important tool for advertisers and publishers to gain insights. Additionally,  we should remember why everything is happening in the first place: improving consumer privacy and providing more consumer control has been the ultimate goal, as is a healthy ecosystem of privacy-respecting identity solutions to support advertisers.

Yahoo and Privacy Sandbox solve for non-addressable environments

At Yahoo we believe that this new advertising ecosystem needs a variety of solutions. In the past few years, there has been a dramatic decline in addressable environments, and in 2025 the majority of the supply will be non-addressable, where user identity is not available. This is due to a lack of user identifiers or consumer consent to use their data for advertising purposes. For example, cookieless web inventory like Safari or Firefox where users are not logged in, and/or in-app inventory such as iOS 14.5+ users who have opted-out from tracking. In the sphere of media buying, the avoidance of non-addressable inventory through an exclusive investment in so-called walled-garden inventory just isn't an option. The restriction of media buying to artificially-constrained pools necessarily misses important sources of incremental reach. 66% of the time U.S. consumers spent online, was spent on the open internet and 34% within walled gardens.

The availability of a range of solutions for non-addressable environments is critical for advertisers' and publishers' success. In the past four years, Yahoo has been investing in building our proprietary solution for non-addressable supply, Next-Gen Solutions. Next-Gen Solutions is part of Yahoo Identity Solutions, which future-proofs advertisers and publishers against signal loss. Additionally, we believe that collaboration with industry bodies, such as IAB TechLab, is critical to help the industry move faster and offer advertisers and publishers a range of solutions to function in the new era of advertising. We welcome Privacy Sandbox, which also helps with non-addressable environments, and we believe it could be a great addition to our DSP.

Testing Privacy Sandbox with Yahoo

In this crucial testing phase of Privacy Sandbox, it’s important that the whole ecosystem engages and publishers’ participation is key for these early stages. With only 1% of Chrome’s traffic where third-party cookies are disabled today, having as many publishers and domains as possible opting into Protected Audience is crucial. Having access to a wide range of supply from a mix of publishers throughout the testing phase will allow us to gather more results and eventually enable a smooth transition in a fully cookieless world. As one of the largest DSPs transparently conducting testing currently with Privacy Sandbox, we already see advertisers and publishers putting effort into rebuilding a healthier and more transparent advertising ecosystem, among other things, by also supporting Privacy Sandbox testing.

We’re excited to share the progress with you, as we are approaching the deprecation of third-party cookies on Chrome. For that reason, we’ve built the report below, which we’ll update periodically. This report tracks the number of unique domain publishers with supply in the US (only for display format) and SSPs (excluding Google’s SSP) that currently have opted-in to Protected Audience and Yahoo DSP leverages to conduct Privacy Sandbox testing. The more publishers and SSPs that are integrating with Protected Audience, the more results and reliable learnings we gather from testing to refine Privacy Sandbox technologies.

Chart observations: 

  • There is an overall upward trend in SSP and web domain adoption for the month of March.
  • Within the month of March, we saw 3 new SSPs starting to process Protected Audience auctions (PAs), bringing the total to 8.
  • We also see more domains adopting PAs, with a double-digit growth in just a few weeks.
  • We are observing some fluctuations based on some SSPs testing and changing their configurations based on Protected Audience availability. Also, some SSPs are filtering out traffic that isn’t properly labeled as Chrome Mode A and Mode B, which are used as test and control groups for testing. This causes some short-term drops in overall web domains availability, which are expected given the testing phase.

Today, our advertisers have the opportunity to leverage our proprietary Yahoo Identity Testing. At the same time, at Yahoo we’re currently conducting internal testing of Privacy Sandbox. We are pleased with the progress that the publishing ecosystem has made in the past six months and we’re looking forward to more progress across the advertising ecosystem.

 1Distribution of time spent in US 2020,


About Gio Gardelli

Gio Gardelli is the Vice President of Ads Data Products at Yahoo. He is responsible for ad products, including targeting, identity, measurement, and data infrastructure for the Yahoo DSP. Since joining the company in 2018, Gio has been focused on building solutions to prepare advertisers and publishers for a future without cookies & IDFAs, including Yahoo ConnectID, Next-Gen Solutions, and more. He is also an IAB Tech Lab Board Member where he spearheads and collaborates on the development of innovative solutions and guidance for the digital media ecosystem.

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