Google Moves to Restrict Ad Tracking on Android Phones

Daniel Attoe
Daniel Attoe

Updated · Feb 24, 2022

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On Wednesday, Google announced that it will restrict the tracking of Android device users by advertisers.

Limiting Ad Tracking on Android

The company will take advanced measures to limit data tracking on Android smartphones and devices. The move follows Apple’s last year update, which offered users a choice between allowing or restricting tracking. 

The privacy-focused changes will take place over two years, and aims to limit the sharing of Android user data with third parties. This was announced in a blog post by the vice president of Product Management for Android Security & Privacy Anthony Chavez. 

Chavez also noted that the company is working on ways that advertisers can reach mobile users without having their privacy exposed.

Google’s new policy will affect tech giants like Meta, formerly Facebook, that use identifiers on apps to track and collect user data. Apple’s policy change drastically hurt the social networking company, costing it $10 billion last year. Meta has had to deal with a slew of lawsuits concerning privacy. Only days ago, Texas sued the company for collecting and using facial recognition data without consent.

Privacy Sandbox

The new initiative extends on Google’s plan to limit data tracking on its web browser. In 2019, the company announced that it was boosting privacy on the Chrome browser, in what it called Privacy Sandbox.

In its blog post, the company made it clear that it considered “blunt approaches” by other platforms to be ineffective. This suggests that it may not mirror Apple’s policy of laying the choice of restricting data tracking at the feet of users. Two-thirds of iOS users have chosen not to allow advertisers and businesses to track their data. 

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Daniel Attoe

Daniel Attoe

Daniel is an Economics grad who fell in love with tech. His love for books and reading pushed him into picking up the pen - and keyboard. Also a data analyst, he's taking that leap into data science and machine learning. When not writing or studying, chances are that you'll catch him watching football or face-deep in an epic fantasy novel.

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