It looks like Google is taking a page from Apple’s book by implementing its own anti-tracking approach for its users. The company had recently updated its Play Store support page to announce the move, which is slated to be made effective in late 2021.
Google currently provides both advertisers and developers access to a user’s unique advertising ID, which can be utilised for monetisation and advertising. The ID is resettable, therefore enabling users to cancel or opt out of receiving “personalised” ads within Google Play if they so wish. Despite resetting it, however, it is still accessible to developers for (seemingly) non-advertising use such as attribution, analytics and fraud detection. The company’s upcoming policy change is looking to address that potential concern entirely.
Once the move is implemented, users who’ve opted out from personalised advertising will have their advertising IDs completely wiped. Developers and advertisers attempting to access it will receive a string of zeros instead of the identifier, Google explained. For purposes outside of advertising and monetisation, the company said that it will introduce developers and ad/analytics service providers to an alternative solution sometime in July.
Google also noted in the Play Store support page that the policy change will happen in phases. The first to receive the anti-tracking update are Android 12 devices by late 2021, whereas other Google Play supported devices will only see the implementation next year. The latter will likely coincide with the company’s decision to remove tracking cookies from its popular Chrome web browser, which it announced back in March.