Google to enforce Android opt-out of personalized advertising more strictly

After Apple released App Tracking Transparency, Google is following up with stricter enforcement of its opt-out for personalized ads. From late 2021, the system will shield a user’s advertising ID from apps in the event of an opt-out.

The current situation is that with an opt-out in the settings menu, the advertising ID can still be requested by Android apps and can therefore be used unabated, Ars Technica writes. The feature has been in the mobile operating system since 2013. “If app makers followed the rules, this measure by Google would not have been necessary,” Ars argues.

Google says on a support page that from ‘late 2021’ the advertising ID will be changed to a series of zeros if one opts out. That will happen through an update Play Services and will start with Android 12 devices. “Early in 2022,” this should expand to “devices that support Google Play,” meaning virtually all Android devices.

Apple came in iOS 14.5 with its App Tracking Transparency. From then on, every app had to request explicit permission from the user to track their behavior and save it in an advertising profile. There is also the option in the system settings to decline all tracking requests in advance. Facebook and its daughter Instagram are certainly not happy with the arrival of the function: they ask for the opt-in with the accompanying comment that this ‘helps to keep Facebook and Instagram free’.