Search interests in private browsing rise by 110% in Kenya — Google

Kenya also ranks 1st in Africa for the country that searched most for private browsing

In Summary

• Google SSA regional director Nitin Gajria said people are now more concerned about their online privacy.

• He said this presents a clear responsibility and opportunity for African advertisers to protect the privacy of consumers.

In the last five years, search interests in private browsing increased by 110 per cent in Kenya, 60 per cent in Nigeria, and 30 per cent in South Africa.

This is according to statistics by Google.

Kenya has been ranked position 15 in the world for the country that searched most for private browsing in the last five years.

Kenya also ranked in first place for the African country that searched most for the topic.

According to Google, 2022 was the year Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa searched most for private browsing since 2012.

Speaking to journalists from the three states, Google SSA regional director Nitin Gajria said that people are now more concerned about their online privacy.

With this, of great concern is ad privacy and safety.

He said this presents a clear responsibility and opportunity for African advertisers to protect the privacy of consumers.

“People want great online experiences that are delivered with the privacy they deserve by brands they can trust,” Gajria said.

“Advertisers want ads that work and also be able to measure what happens, all while delivering respectful and private online experiences.”

Advertising spending in Kenya has been projected to grow at seven per cent compound annual growth rate between 2018 and 2023 with annual growth rates slowing down from 8.3 percent to 5.9 percent in the same period.

In 2020, internet advertising revenue in Kenya stood at Sh3.4 trillion and is projected to reach Sh4.93 trillion by 2025.

A Google survey established that privacy experiences impact user trust, and access to quality information is important.

The tech giant said regulators across the world are demanding a more private internet.

“To earn people’s trust, we are building responsible, private advertising. This is to secure the future for the ad-supported web that is safer for people, strengthens businesses, and is successful for publishers,” Gajria said.

“As people manage more of their lives online, their concerns are how their personal data is gathered, used and shared.”

Gajria said with 66 per cent of the world now online, investing in privacy increases brand preference and creates a longer-lasting relationship with customers.

In October 2022, Google launched my Google Ad Centre aimed at allowing users to manage information like customising ads as well as see what type of data Google has gathered on them.

“Through the web page, anyone can see and control how their data is used to show them on ads on Search, Discover, and YouTube,” Gajria said.

Google user privacy and trust director Karin Hennessy said aims to build trust with users.

She also said this was a way to ensure ads provided on Google respect people’s privacy by offering them key principles like transparency, traceability, and control.

“Users want more control over what information is used and drive ad relevancy for themselves,” Hennessy said.

Google is devoted to supporting a positive advertising ecosystem aimed at keeping users safe and having a trustworthy platform.

Google trust and safety director Brian Crowley said his team invests heavily in systems to keep off bad ads, sites, and bad actors away from Google platforms.

He said they are working towards creating user education to protect users from all types of abuse.

“In 2021, Google summoned 30 updates through its ads policies under products and services. We not only block ads but restrict them from serving. We want to show ads that are approved, appropriate, regulated, and legal,” Crowley said.

In 2021, Google did away with 3.4 billion bad ads and 5.6 million advertiser accounts were suspended globally.

In 2020, they removed 3.1 billion bad ads, 1.7 million advertiser accounts were suspended, conducted 1.6 million publisher site-level actions, and removed ads from 1.3 billion publisher pages.

This is reflective of the growing advertiser base.

Google will block third-party cookies this year and to be fully third-party free by 2024.

The firm is looking to replace third-party cookies and cross-site tracking to continue preserving first-party data and consumer relationships.

Google's head of privacy and chrome partnerships in EMEA, Hanne Tuomisto-Inch said they are preparing for the future by rethinking the tech on which much of the web advertising system is built.

The official said through Google Sandbox, they are building new privacy-first solutions, without old technologies like third-party cookies.

Google Sandbox is an open-source initiative in partnership with the global advertising industry to find solutions for a more private internet.

This is both for the web and mobile apps.

Chrome is currently developing new technologies that support a range of web use cases and capabilities while giving enhanced protection for user privacy.

These use cases include relevant ads, content, measuring digital advertising, fraud detection, and identity.

Privacy Sandbox on android is focusing on introducing new more private advertising solutions without cross-app identifiers

Last year, Google launched new technologies for technical testing on Chrome.

Tuomisto-Inch said the first half of 2023 will involve early solution testing.

“AdTech companies that are already integrated in these new technologies will start embedding these technologies in their solution offerings,” she said.

“It will be very much test and learn. It will be focused on Google Sandbox's individual technologies and learning how they perform. We will be relying on feedback from the industry on individual APIs to make sure that they are working well for the industry and feedback on how to optimise them.”

In the second half of 2023, Google will launch the APIs to all chrome users worldwide.

Google is currently testing with five per cent of users globally.

This will enable the testing of Google Sandbox technologies at scale.

Tuomisto-Inch said the goal for the second half of the year is that Google is expecting meaningful insights into the results that marketers and publishers will have in a world without third-party cookies.

It will take Chrome one year to test and fully roll out these technologies before they can start facing out third-party cookies.

“There is plenty of time for industries to integrate them, optimise the results and ensure that they work well for them,” Tuomisto-Inch said.

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