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Home / Companies / News /  Google follows in Apple’s footsteps, to let users stop ad tracking on Android

NEW DELHI: Google is following Apple’s footsteps in allowing users to stop apps from tracking them across the Internet. Apple offered the feature to users earlier this year, amid pushback from social media giants like Facebook. Google, though, had simply said that it would comply with Apple’s new policy and will come up with new ways to deliver targeted advertising for users.

“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," the company said in a policy update today.

“To help developers and ad/analytics service providers with compliance efforts and respect user choice, they will be able to receive notifications for opt-out preferences. Additionally, apps targeting Android 12 will need to declare a Google Play services normal permission in the manifest file," it added.

As mentioned above, the services will start rolling out in “late 2021", but Google also said that it will “expand to affect apps running on devices that support Google Play" in early 2022. “In July, we will provide an alternate solution to support essential use cases such as analytics and fraud prevention," the company added.

Google’s new stance doesn’t really come as a surprise though. The company has been under pressure to give users more control over privacy on its Android devices for a while now. A lawsuit against the company in Arizona, in the US, revealed that Google had intentionally made it difficult for users to hide location data from it, and also pressured other smartphone makers to do so. Google denied the allegations and said it looks forward to “setting the record straight" in the case.

The company had also said it will comply with Apple’s new policy, which has faced pushback from large firms like Facebook. The social media giant has been actively campaigning against Apple’s policy and has been trying to convince users to allow it to track their activity through notifications on its apps.

The search giant is also expected to ban tracking cookies next year and will come up with a new interest-based system for advertising on the Internet.

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