Following on from Apple’s new App Tracking Transparency feature, Google will soon allow Android users to opt out of ad tracking. This prevents apps from seeing a user̵
First reported by Bloomberg, Google quietly announced the change on an app developer support page. A post at the top of the support page states that Google will roll out its anti-tracking tools to select devices by the end of 2021, with expanded support for all Android devices running Google Play by early 2022 (your Android OS version shouldn’t matter).
Beginning in late 2021, when a user opts out of interest-based advertising or ad personalization, the advertising ID will not be available. You will receive a string of zeros instead of the identifier.
But unlike Apple’s App Tracking Transparency feature, which lets you manage tracking by app, Google’s anti-tracking tool completely disables tracking for every app on your device. Unfortunately, the feature will be tucked away in Android settings, so users will have to do their best to use it.
It’s surprising to see Google implement an anti-tracking feature, given the company’s reliance on personalized ads. Several companies have expressed concerns that anti-tracking tools will harm their advertising activities, and Facebook had a tantrum after Apple debuted App Tracking Transparency earlier this year.
While we wait for Google to roll out its anti-tracking tool, you can disable Android ad personalization to limit which ads you see in some apps. You can also reset your advertising ID to make yourself a little more anonymous than usual.
Source: Google via Bloomberg