Google to allow Android users to restrict ad tracking

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Official Reporter
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American tech giant Google is bringing an update to let Android users opt out of being tracked by advertisers through apps installed on their devices.

The update will be implemented in the latest version of Google Play Services and the services are expected to be available by the end of 2021.

It will initially be implied for devices running on Android 12, but Google intends to roll out an upgrade focused on limiting ad tracking for a bigger audience over time.

Once implemented, Android users will be able to restrict tracking by opting out of personalizations using the unique advertising ID associated with their devices, according to the tech giant. Advertisers use the advertising ID to track users and offer personalized, interest-based advertising content.

The company noted that any efforts to access the identifier will receive a string of zeros instead of any particular value. This is similar to what Apple announced last year and finally rolled out with the release of iOS 14.5 in late April. The iPhone maker calls its move the App Tracking Transparency (ATT).

“Instead of showing pop-up messages on each app to let users decide whether they want their activities to be tracked that is there in case of Apple, Google has decided to go with a more combined approach,” the company added.

Google also stated that it would send opt-out preference alerts “to help” marketers and developers in their compliance efforts. An alternative solution will also be offered in case of essential use cases such as analytics and fraud prevention. This will be detailed next month.

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