Google to allow Android 12 users to opt out of interest-based advertising

The phased rollout of the service will affect apps running on Android 12 devices starting late 2021

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Jun 7, 2021 7:02 AM  | 3 min read

Tech giant Google will allow Android 12 users to opt out of interest-based advertising or ads personalisation following an update to Google Play services in late 2021. Google is following Apple's lead wherein the iPhone maker had introduced a new feature that allowed device users to opt out of ad tracking with the roll-out of iOS 14.5.

"Starting in late 2021, when a user opts out of interest-based advertising or ads personalization, the advertising identifier will not be available. You will receive a string of zeros in place of the identifier," Google posted on its Play Consol Help section.

It further stated that 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," Google noted.

In May, Google had pre-announced an upcoming safety section in Google Play Store that will help users understand the data an app collects or shares, if that data is secured, and additional details that impact privacy and security.

The Google blog post that the advertising ID is a unique, user-resettable ID for advertising, provided by Google Play services. It gives users better controls and provides developers with a simple, standard system to continue to monetise their apps. It enables users to reset their identifier or opt out of personalized ads (formerly known as interest-based ads) within Google Play 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. 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," the company stated.

The Google Play Developer Program Policy requires all updates and new apps uploaded to Google Play to use the advertising ID (when available on a device) in place of any other device identifiers for any advertising purposes. "You're responsible for ensuring that your apps are in compliance with policies regarding its usage, as well as all Play policies," the Google note reads.

According to Google, apps using a persistent ID other than the advertising ID may receive a policy violation warning via the publisher site or the email address used to register the account. "If you receive a warning, you should ensure that any published APKs comply with the advertising ID-related guidance in the Developer Program Policy. If you are using a third-party ad SDK, please contact the SDK maker to obtain a new version that complies with this new policy."

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