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Apple inspires Google in letting users opt-out of ad tracking on Android

With iOS 14.5, Apple introduced a key change that required app developers to specifically ask for permission to track the user's information for personalised ads. Apple's decision was intended to provide its consumers with greater privacy and openness regarding data collecting.

Google has revealed that it, too, would allow Android users to opt-out of ad tracking, though not in the same clear way that Apple has. Beginning with Android 12, developers will no longer have access to the user's Advertising ID, which will now return a string of zeroes if asked.

Android phones currently offer the option to “Opt out of Ads Personalization,” which can be accessed in Settings > Google > Ads. Nonetheless, because it is used for additional analytics purposes, an app could request an Advertising ID without consulting the user. Google will offer an alternative solution for analytics and fraud prevention that does not use the Advertising ID with the upcoming Android 12 update, and apps will be unable to acquire the identification if the user has opted out.

Starting in late 2021, when a user opts out of interest-based advertising or ads personalization, the advertising identifier will not be available. You will receive a string of zeros in place of the identifier.

Because Google's primary business is based on the advertisement, making the option more transparent, as Apple has done, would have a greater impact on its bottom line. Making the options Opt-out would allow people who are unaware of the option to continue to be tracked. Only when a person is informed and aware that the option exists may they opt-out. Apple's Opt-in technique, on the other hand, was met with opposition from Facebook, which also sells ads and collects data from its customers via the app. Facebook even started a campaign in the name of small companies to encourage users to enable tracking.

According to Google's Advertising ID support page, the change will take effect in late 2021 on devices running Android 12 and in early 2022 on all devices that support Google Play Services.