Android 12 has a number of privacy features from a new settings dashboard to the ability to disable app access to the camera and microphone. Another update later this year will allow users to better opt out of personalized ads in Android applications.
Google Play Services has long made available an Ad ID that third-party developers can use to monetize their applications in a standard way. Users can reset and generate a new identifier at any time, and also have the option to opt out of ad customization. This tells “apps not to use your advertising ID to create profiles or show you personal ads.”
According to an updated document for developers this morning, an upcoming change will allow Android users with this privacy preference enabled, a more effective and strict unsubscribe from personal ads. In such cases, the identifier will no longer be available to third parties, with the apps only receiving a “string of zeros.”
To help developers and providers of advertising / analytics services comply and respect users’ choices, they will be able to receive opt-out alerts. In addition, apps targeting Android 12 must declare that Google Play services are normal permissions in the manifest file.
Previously, applications still saw the ad ID so developers could use it to analyze or prevent fraud. As part of this change, Google will next month share an option for the “important use cases”.
Google’s change comes as Apple earlier this year did so that apps must first ask permission before tracking users through the iOS IDFA system. This Android feature is more general and applies at a higher level. Opt-out and reset options are available from the Settings app> Google> Ads.
This change in the process of opting out of personalized ads will not take effect until the end of 2021 for apps running on Android 12. Google will then expand to all applications with Play services early next year.
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