A Google spokesperson announced on Tuesday that the company will limit the ability of marketers to track users of Android phones and other devices. It has joined Apple in taking efforts to protect privacy for consumers in the United States, marking a watershed moment in the digital advertising sector.
An article on the Android Security & Privacy blog stated that the company will also develop other ways for software developers and businesses to reach mobile users while limiting the sharing of people’s personal data, noting that it wants to “raise the bar for user privacy.”
Anthony Chavez, vice president of product management at Google, stated that the company wants to “raise the bar for user privacy.”
Marketing organizations can track what users are doing across all apps on their Android smartphones thanks to a feature called Advertising ID, which was developed by Google.
This allows businesses to build a full picture of the interests and actions of a person using Google’s services. The move, announced on Wednesday, will restrict the capacity of apps to collect that information.
The modifications, on the other hand, will not take effect for at least two years, and Google has stated that it will “give sufficient notice ahead of any subsequent adjustments.”
The corporation did not provide any specifics on how the more private advertising will be carried out.
This follows Apple’s decision last year to limit user tracking on iPhones, which prompted Google to make its move. Applications on iOS, ranging from diet and fitness applications to mobile games, must now request permission before tracking a user’s location.
According to Flurry Analytics, over three-quarters of iOS users have chosen not to be monitored on their devices. This has created a commotion in the multibillion-dollar targeted advertising sector.
Apple’s privacy efforts have already resulted in significant losses for Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram. The business admitted last month that the privacy reforms would cost it $10 billion this year, which contributed to the company’s stock dropping to a historic low and wiping $300 billion off its market capitalization.
Following Google’s statement, Meta’s shares sank even further on Wednesday morning, losing 3.4 percent in the first hour of trading.
According to IDC, Android is used by approximately 85 percent of global cell phone customers.
Advertisers can target consumers based on their device behavior thanks to Advertising ID, which was invented by Google, which is now a part of Alphabet and is used to identify a specific Android mobile device and identify its owner.
The business announced last year that it would discontinue the use of Advertising ID on mobile devices and that it would restrict the use of third-party cookies in its Chrome web browser.
In the words of Lauren Wetzel, chief operating officer of InfoSum, a data firm that describes itself as “privacy-focused,” “Advertisers are dependent on the present monitoring systems, particularly Advertising ID, just as they are dependent on cookies,” she added.
According to Wetzel, many advertisers would have less information about potential customers as a result of the upcoming adjustments.
As a publisher, “you have a weaker grasp of your audience if you’re basically trying to showcase to businesses and say the advertising that you sell will reach your audience,” she explained, adding that the changes will have the greatest impact on mobile-first organizations.
Targeted advertising has been attacked as invasive by privacy groups, and politicians in Congress have sponsored legislation that would severely restrict the use of the technology.
Meta has reached settlements in a number of cases alleging that it monitored users after they logged off and scanned users’ faces without their knowledge or permission. Four state attorneys general filed a lawsuit against Google last month, accusing the firm of tracking users’ movements and lying about it.
In a blog post published on Wednesday, Google slammed Apple’s privacy reforms, calling them a “blunt” approach that was unsuccessful and that might “end to worse consequences for user privacy and developer businesses.” The business hinted that simply disabling tracking would jeopardize consumers’ ability to receive free mobile content in the future.
“Mobile applications are an integral part of our daily life. Currently, over 90 percent of the apps on Google Play are free, allowing billions of consumers to gain access to valuable content and services that are otherwise unavailable. Digital advertising plays a critical part in making this feasible, as previously stated “According to the company’s blog post.
Aside from developers, regulators, and privacy groups, Google has stated that it will solicit feedback on its modifications.
It appears that the corporation is attempting to strike a balance between user privacy protection and the interests of advertising, as evidenced by the two-year schedule for those adjustments, Wenzel explained.
“I don’t think the current wave of privacy, and the consumer focus on it, is going away anytime soon,” she continued.