Android users, later this year, will have the ability to opt-out of tracking across apps on Android devices, limiting the ability for apps to access their unique advertising ID, Google announced in a support page update (via Bloomberg).
The new change, in theory, is similar to Apple’s recently launched ATT, or App Tracking Transparency framework; however, it differs in direct implementation. On iOS 14.5 or later, when users first open an app, a prompt is shown with the options “Ask App not to track” or “Allow.” According to Google, users won’t see a pop-up for each app, nor will they have granular controls over each individual app’s ability to access their IDFA.
Instead, according to the support document, a new toggle within Android settings will let users opt-out completely of all tracking, for all apps.
As part of Google Play services update in late 2021, the advertising ID will be removed when a user opts out of personalization using advertising ID in Android Settings. Any attempts to access the identifier will receive a string of zeros instead of the identifier
Initial reports suggested that Google was hesitant to implement a framework similar to Apple’s due to concerns over the impact it would have on its advertising business. In the weeks and months leading up to Apple’s ATT launch, which was first previewed at the company’s developers conference last year, Facebook and other companies voiced concerns that the new privacy-focused change would hurt their bottom line.
Google says the new change, which will come as part of an update to its Google Play services, will be rolled out in phases starting later this year and “will expand to affect apps running on devices that support Google Play in early 2022.”