Google follows Apple, looks to stop Android apps tracking users

Google will soon introduce a mechanism to enhance the privacy protection of Android users, as per the details the company shared with Android mobile app developer.

Google announced the change in an email to all Play Store developers, arguing that the proposed change would “give users more control over their data for greater security and privacy.”

As of note, the company wants to make it harder for advertisers to track users as they move between apps. This update is similar to how Apple strengthened the privacy of iOS users by turning off tracking by default and allowing users to opt in when needed.

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Google plans to add an additional opt-out option that will prevent their devices from sharing advertising IDs that marketers use for tracking purposes.

Currently, Android users who have opted out of tracking and personalized advertising are still tagged by the advertising ID when they open an app. This is because advertising IDs are used for non-marketing purposes as well as for analysis and fraud detection.

However, to prevent unscrupulous marketers from taking advantage of the advertising IDs of opt-out users, later this year, Android will simply spit out a string of zeros instead of IDs.

Updates Similar to Apple Strips ID for Advertising (IDFA) When iOS 14.5 users opt out of tracking. Google recently also told developers reveal details about their data collection practices, in a move reminiscent of Apple’s use of privacy label on its App Store.

In a help page, Google informed developers that it would be releasing an alternative to Advertising ID in July to support analytics and fraud detection use cases.

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