Android 12 Will Allow Users to Block Apps From Tracking Them Online, Much Like Apple

Google is following Apple’s footsteps and working on a similar feature for Android 12.


Apple, earlier this year, released a new feature called App Tracking Transparency. The feature released in iOS 14.5 ensures that developers take the user’s permission before using their personal data to track them across apps. Users can choose to allow or decline permission for the app to track their activities while using the data. Google is following Apple’s footsteps and working on a similar feature for Android 12. The search engine giant will give users an option to block apps from tracking them in Android 12. 

Google, in its support page, said that users can opt-out of targeted or personalised ads by deleting the Advertising ID in Android settings. “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 personalised ads within Google Play apps,” the company said.

If the user deletes the Advertising ID, advertisers will see a string of zeros in place of the unique identifier. Doing so will make it impossible for apps to track user activity and also not recommend any personalised ads. The rollout will first be for Android 12 devices later this year before covering a broader spectrum in 2022 with phones that have access to Google Play.

Facebook criticised Apple by running ads in several newspapers. The Mark Zuckerberg-led company said the new rules limit businesses’ ability to run personalised ads and reach their customers effectively. It further said that the new privacy policies could be devastating for small businesses. Apple, in response, said it is standing up for its users and that they should have the choice to allow apps to collect their data. 

It would be interesting to see how Google tackles this issue, considering a part of its revenue relies on advertisement and data. The search engine giant had previously said that it wants to keep advisers and developers happy while maintaining user security and privacy standards.