We started the Privacy Sandbox initiative to improve web privacy for users, while also giving publishers, creators and other developers the tools they need to build thriving businesses, ensuring a safe and healthy web for all. We also know that advertising is critical for many businesses, and is a key way to support access to free content online.
Today, we’re announcing Topics, a new Privacy Sandbox proposal for interest-based advertising. Topics was informed by our learning and widespread community feedback from our earlier FLoC trials, and replaces our FLoC proposal.
With Topics, your browser determines a handful of topics, like “Fitness” or “Travel & Transportation,” that represent your top interests for that week based on your browsing history. Topics are kept for only three weeks and old topics are deleted. Topics are selected entirely on your device without involving any external servers, including Google servers. When you visit a participating site, Topics picks just three topics, one topic from each of the past three weeks, to share with the site and its advertising partners. Topics enables browsers to give you meaningful transparency and control over this data, and in Chrome, we’re building user controls that let you see the topics, remove any you don’t like or disable the feature completely.
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Alex Corral was working in his family’s restaurant when he suffered an injury on the job. That moment made him stop to reflect about his career path, and ultimately look for a change.
Alex always had an interest in IT, but during the time of his injury he decided to act on this interest, so he enrolled on the Google IT Support Career Certificate. Earning his Certificate gave him the confidence to apply for jobs in the field, which led him to his current job with Truckstop.com, a software company which helps optimize freight moving. Alex credits Google Career Certificates as the reason he was able to pivot careers and get his start in the IT sector.
Everyone should have the opportunity to participate in today’s increasingly digital economy, but in occupations requiring digital skills, which will represent two thirds of jobs by 2030, members of the Latino community in the U.S. are significantly underrepresented. Over the next decade, members of the Latino community will grow to represent 21% of the workforce, and 78% of net new workers.
To be prepared for in-demand, high-paying jobs and to close the existing gap in digital skills, it’s crucial that members of the Latino community get easy access to education and credentials. Investing in training and support for job seekers in the community will drive economic mobility and equity. So today we’re announcing three initiatives to help open doors to higher-paying jobs and entrepreneurial ventures that can grow into long-lasting careers.
Whether you’re managing your inbox, browsing the web, or interacting with ads, we know that your privacy is a top priority. That’s why this week, to celebrate Data Privacy Day, we’re highlighting how we keep you safe online – and reminding you of the controls available to you.
On the occasion of International Day of Education, the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme is pleased to join forces with Google Arts & Culture to present Memory of the World, the records that hold the memory of our shared past. The digital collection brings together 66 inscriptions held by institutions across over 30 countries, all listed on the Memory of the World International Register, to tell their stories and highlight key moments in history that have left the world changed forever.
From Shakespeare documents chronicling the life and times of the famous dramatist to maps tracking Columbus’ historic voyages — and all the manuscripts, maps, illustrations, sheet music, monumental carvings, pieces of literature, satellite images and ancient artifacts in between — each of these inscriptions serves as an important educational resource and fascinating window into our shared past.
Preserving the past
Established in 1992, Memory of the World — which will make its treasures available as of today on Google Arts & Culture — seeks to preserve the documentary heritage that carries the world’s memories into succeeding generations, and to make sure those memories remain accessible for future generations. Numerous threats can conspire to keep such memories from circulating freely and optimally. Such threats include poor preservation policy and budgetary environments, the lack of skilled staff and rescue teams, vandalism and theft, armed conflict, and natural and man-made disasters.
At its heart, AG Paxton is asking the court to force us to share user data and design our products in a way that helps our competitors rather than our customers or consumers. But American antitrust law doesn’t require companies to give information to, or design products specifically for, rivals. This lawsuit fails to acknowledge that ad tech is a highly dynamic industry with countless competitors. It’s been recognized that competition in ad tech has led to reduced fees, encouraged new entry, led to increased investment and expanded options for advertisers and publishers alike.
“It’s a different way of telling a story online, unlike anything that anybody’s doing out there,” says COWGIRL Magazine Founder and CEO Ken Amorosano. “[Social media stories are] rapid fire…but they’re not really telling a story. A blog post is telling a story, but it’s out of sequence, as a photo doesn’t necessarily link with a paragraph. With Web Stories, every word with that image, with that video, matters. And it matters to the actual flow of the story. It has a beginning, middle and an end. And it’s very, very, very powerful.” Check out my interview with Ken to learn more about their experience using Web Stories.
Over the years, we’ve learned a lot about how to develop, deploy and enhance Web Stories for publishers. We’ve found that you can’t just take an article and break it up into pages with text — it has to be more engaging. Web Stories offer the ability to add video, sound and images, and publishers need to find the right balance of using multiple media to tell their stories. When we start with publishers, the first thing we do is look at some existing stories. Then we encourage them to think about how to transform them into immersive Web Stories.
We can’t wait to see where Web Stories take XWP and our publishers next. That includes working with Google to develop Web Stories for WordPress, and helping even more of our customers experiment with Web Stories to grow their audiences and create new reader experiences.
How would you describe your path to Google?
When I got to university, I learned about a group of students — the Google Student Ambassadors (GSA) — who shared resources and trained other students on Google products. I was drawn to how helpful and knowledgeable they were, so I joined the program in my second year.
After building my skills as a Google Student Ambassador, I landed my first job after university as a project and campaign manager at a digital agency. I eventually reached out to a Googler, who led the GSA program at the time, and told her I wanted to take on more challenging projects and someday become a Googler like her. She shared that there was an open contract role at Google for a Strategic Partner Manager, who would help establish partnerships to provide public Wi-Fi in Nigeria. She encouraged me to apply and put my best foot forward.
So I did, interviewed and got the role. After 16 months in that position, I transferred to the APMM program — and now, here I am.
What surprised you about the interview process?
I typically dread interviews, because it feels like you are in a hot seat trying to prove and convince people of your worth. So when I spoke with my Google interviewers, I was surprised that it felt like any other chat. Everyone was friendly and engaging, which really helped me be myself.
Results are already promising. Through analyzing collections relating to Mary Jane Rathbun, likely the first woman curator at the Smithsonian, for example, we have been able to find taxonomy cards in Smithsonian records that detail a collecting trip she took with Serena Katherine “Violet” Dandridge, a scientific illustrator who worked alongside Rathbun in the Department of Marine Invertebrates in 1911, and gain a better understanding of early collaborations between women. In fact, the taxonomy cards reveal that a third colleague, Dr. Harriet Richardson Searle, identified some of the specimens that Rathbun and Dandridge brought back to the Smithsonian. Though this experiment is only just beginning, it is clear that technology can play a key role in facilitating further research and help to recover stories of women in science.
If you rely on an open, global internet, you’ll want the European Union and the U.S. government to agree soon on a new data framework to keep the services you use up and running. People increasingly rely on data flows for everything from online shopping, travel, and shipping, to office collaboration, customer management, and security operations. The ability to share information underpins global economies and powers a range of services like high-value manufacturing, media, and information services. And over the next decade, these services will contribute hundreds of billion euros to Europe’s economy alone.
But those data flows, that convenience, and those economic benefits are more and more at risk. Last week, Austria’s data protection authority ruled that a local web publisher’s implementation of Google Analytics did not provide an adequate level of protection, on the grounds that U.S. national security agencies have a theoretical ability to access user data. But Google has offered Analytics-related services to global businesses for more than 15 years and in all that time has never once received the type of demand the DPA speculated about. And we don’t expect to receive one because such a demand would be unlikely to fall within the narrow scope of the relevant law.
The European Court of Justice’s July 2020 ruling did not impose an inflexible standard under which the mere possibility of exposure of data to another government required stopping the global movement of data. We are convinced that the extensive supplementary measures we offer to our customers ensure the practical and effective protection of data to any reasonable standard.
While this decision directly affects only one particular publisher and its specific circumstances, it may portend broader challenges. If a theoretical risk of data access were enough to block data flows, that would pose a risk for many publishers and small businesses who use the web, and highlight the lack of legal stability for international data flows facing the entire European and American business ecosystem.
There are important discussions taking place about the rules of the road for the modern economy. We believe that updating technology regulations in areas like privacy, AI, and protections for kids and families could provide real benefits. But breaking our products wouldn’t address any of these issues. Instead, it would eliminate helpful features, expose people to new privacy and security risks, and weaken America’s technological leadership. There’s a better way. Congress shouldn’t rush to judgment, and should instead take more time to consider the unintended consequences of these bills.