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Google Proposes ‘Trust Tokens’ To Verify Users Without Revealing Identity

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Earlier this year, Google announced it would join other web browser companies to block third-party cookies in Chrome. The company has now made “Trust Tokens” available for developer testing to deal with advertisement frauds.

The Trust Tokens API is designed to authenticate a user without any requirement to know their identity. It is interesting to note here that trust tokens would not be able to track users across websites as they are theoretically all the same. However, they will still let websites prove to advertisers that advertisers that actual users — not bots — visited a site or clicked on an ad. 

The company also announced an extension for its Chrome browser that is presently in alpha, called Ads Transparency Spotlight, which should provide “detailed information about all the ads they see on the web.” 

Available on the official Chrome Web Store, Ads Transparency Spotlight will let it easy for users to understand how advertisements are being shown. The extension has been built around a new API known as the “Ad Disclosure Schema,” which creates a uniform system through which advertisers can disclose how their advertisements work.

Previously, Google used to offer information about its own ads via the “Why this ad” link embedded in each ad, but this was a Google Ads-specific mechanism.