Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Android, Chrome and Applications for Google Inc., speaks during the annual Google I / O Developer Conference in San Francisco, California, the United States, Wednesday, June 25, 2014.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Google is tightening up its privacy practices, which could make it harder for businesses to track users on Android phones and tablets.
Google already allows Android users to turn off personalized ads. But even if users do, software developers can still access User Advertising ID, a unique string of characters that identifies the user’s device. Businesses may use this Advertising ID for purposes such as enabling developers to measure application usage or enabling advertisers to detect and prevent invalid traffic.
Following the change, if a user has unsubscribed from personalized ads, the ad ID will not be available.
The company said in a policy update that its rollout will affect apps running on Android 12 devices starting in late 2021 and expanding to apps running on devices that support Google Play in early 2022. . use cases such as fraud analysis and prevention “in July.
As regulators take a closer look at user privacy and consumers become increasingly concerned about the use of their personal data, tech giants are trying to move forward with changes to the name confidentiality. Google announced in early 2020 that it would end support for third-party cookies on its Chrome browser within two years.
But with advertising making up around 80% of Google’s revenue, it also needs to keep advertisers happy by offering other ways to place ads in front of the users they want to reach and track their effectiveness. The company has been the market leader in online advertising for more than a decade and is expected to account for nearly 29% of global digital ad spend in 2021, according to eMarketer.
Google’s changes will follow other changes Apple recently made for iOS devices, but aren’t as dramatic. Apple’s changes make it easy for iPhone and iPad users to opt out of the type of tracking that helps advertisers target ads or measure whether ads worked, by placing a prompt in front of them every time. they open a new app. Facebook, among others, strongly opposed the changes, saying users would see less relevant ads and small businesses would be penalized as targeted advertising becomes more difficult.