Google Announces Plans to Allow Android Users to Opt-Out of Tracking Later in 2021

Android users, later this year, will have the ability to opt-out of tracking across apps on Android devices, limiting the ability for apps to access their unique advertising ID, Google announced in a support page update (via Bloomberg).

play store google
The new change, in theory, is similar to Apple's recently launched ATT, or App Tracking Transparency framework; however, it differs in direct implementation. On iOS 14.5 or later, when users first open an app, a prompt is shown with the options "Ask App not to track" or "Allow." According to Google, users won't see a pop-up for each app, nor will they have granular controls over each individual app's ability to access their IDFA.

Instead, according to the support document, a new toggle within Android settings will let users opt-out completely of all tracking, for all apps.

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

Initial reports suggested that Google was hesitant to implement a framework similar to Apple's due to concerns over the impact it would have on its advertising business. In the weeks and months leading up to Apple's ATT launch, which was first previewed at the company's developers conference last year, Facebook and other companies voiced concerns that the new privacy-focused change would hurt their bottom line.

Google says the new change, which will come as part of an update to its Google Play services, will be rolled out in phases starting later this year and "will expand to affect apps running on devices that support Google Play in early 2022."

Tag: Android

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Top Rated Comments

5232152 Avatar
40 months ago
Every time I see an Android phone I really want (to try something new), I remind myself that I'm not willing to sell my soul to Google so they can predict my entire existence. Moving away from Google to Duckduckgo makes me sleep better at night
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
djcerla Avatar
40 months ago
People outside the tech bubble seem to understand and appreciate A LOT Apple’s anti-tracking push, much more than I was expecting. It’s quickly becoming a selling point.

Google have to begrudgingly react somehow.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CarpalMac Avatar
40 months ago

People outside the tech bubble seem to understand and appreciate A LOT Apple’s anti-tracking push, much more than I was expecting. It’s quickly becoming a selling point.

Google have to begrudgingly react somehow.
Facebook has ~1.88bn daily users, before you factor in their other apps.
The privacy bubble is akin to a fart in a jacuzzi.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
the future Avatar
40 months ago
Proof that opting out will not really stop Android app tracking will arrive approximately 1 week after this is implemented. Google does not deserve your trust.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LFC2020 Avatar
40 months ago
Allowing you to opt out of tracking, while still tracking you, very clever indeed google. ?
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iHorseHead Avatar
40 months ago

Every time I see an Android phone I really want (to try something new), I remind myself that I'm not willing to sell my soul to Google so they can predict my entire existence. Moving away from Google to Duckduckgo makes me sleep better at night
I want to have your problems
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)