Google follows Apple to enable users to opt out of ad tracking on Android
With iOS 14.5, Apple made a big change, forcing app developers to explicitly seek permission to track the user’s data for targeted adverts. When it comes to data collection, Apple’s change was intended to provide its customers more privacy and transparency.
Google has stated that Android users will be able to opt-out of ad tracking as well, but not in the same way that Apple has done. With Android 12, developers will no longer have access to the user’s Advertising ID, which will instead return a string of zeroes if requested.
Android phones now offer the option to “Opt out of Ads Personalization,” which is available in Settings > Google > Ads. Nonetheless, because it is used for other analytics purposes, an app might request an Advertising ID, bypassing the user’s preference.
Google will offer an alternative method for analytics and fraud prevention in Android 12 which does not require the Advertising ID, and applications will not be able to collect the identifier if the user has opted out.
“When a user opts out of interest-based advertising or ad personalization starting in late 2021, the advertising identifier will no longer be available. In place of the identifier, you’ll get a string of zeros.”
Because Google’s core business is selling ads, making the option more apparent, as Apple has done, would have a greater impact on its bottom line. Making the feature Opt-out would allow individuals who are unaware of it to be monitored indefinitely.
Only when a user is informed and aware of the option does he or she have the ability to opt-out. On the other hand, Facebook, which sells ads and collects data from its users through the app, has criticized Apple’s Opt-in method. Facebook even launched a campaign to persuade users to approve tracking in the name of small businesses.
The change will begin in late 2021 on devices running Android 12 and in early 2022 for all devices that support Google Play Services, according to Google’s support page.
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