Google sent an update to Google Play developers on Wednesday saying that, as part of Google Play services update, it will remove advertising ID when a user opts out of ad personalization.
Currently, users can disable personalized ads by heading to Account Settings on their Android device. Once users do this, Google Play Services will stop sending personalized ad suggestions to their device, but apps on their phones will still see the ad ID. With the new update, Google says it will block apps to access the advertising ID when a user opts out of ad personalization, replacing it with a string of zeroes, starting late 2021.
“Any attempts to access the identifier will receive a string of zeros instead of the identifier.” the company said in the update.
“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.”
“This Google Play services phased rollout will affect apps running on Android 12 devices starting late 2021 and 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 further revealed.
Google is under pressure from privacy advocates and regulators to collect less information about its users. Last week, unredacted documents in Arizona’s lawsuit against Google revealed the company’s efforts to prevent users from keeping their location information private and that the Google employees were well aware of it.
In early May, Google pre-announced the ‘safety section’ in Google Play that will allow Android users see what sort of personal data an app collects and shares.
Starting the second quarter of 2022, new app submissions and app updates must include the information of “what type of data is collected and stored and how the data is used.”