Apple earlier this year brought in a much sought-after feature for iPhone users named App Tracking Transparency that allows users to block apps from tracking them online. Now, Google is also bringing a similar feature to Android users with Android 12 later this year. According to a recently found Google Support page, users will be able to opt out of targeted or personalised ads by deleting an Advertising ID that allows works as an identifier to allow advertisers to track users’ movements online. This comes after Apple’s App Tracking Transparency feature was rolled out with iOS 14.5. It was a well-appreciated feature from all kinds of users as it was a feature that gives iPhone and iPad users the choice to not allow third-party apps and websites to track them for advertising purposes. Now, Android users are also getting a similar feature with Android 12.
“The advertising ID is a unique, user-resettable ID for advertising, provided by Google Play services. It gives users better controls and provides developers with a simple, standard system to continue to monetise their apps. It enables users to reset their identifier or opt out of personalised ads (formerly known as interest-based ads) within Google Play apps,” Google said in its support page. Google’s anti-tracking feature will work in a similar way to Apple’s App Tracking Transparency feature. It will give users the option to delete the advertising identifier on their Android phones. Advertising ID is a unique tracking number that acts as an identifier for advertisers. With Android 12, if users delete their Advertising ID, advertisers will receive a string of zeros in place of the identifier.
Apple’s App Tracking Transparency feature works on the same concept. Apple’s identifier for advertisers is called an IDFA code and is used o track a user’s activity between apps – like searching for a product on Amazon or Flipkart, and then seeing the same or similar products in ads on other apps like Instagram or Facebook.
Given that Android is considered as the lesser private mobile OS of the two, the new feature will definitely make the Google OS catch up with iOS and will sit well with the users as there is a new-found concern for safety and privacy. Developers, on the other hand, may express disapproval – similar to what we saw with Apple’s App Tracking Transparency.