Targeted advertising and personalized ads are how companies like Facebook and Google court advertisers. This is because with all the information that these companies have on you, it wouldn’t be hard for them to find companies that could target you for their marketing campaigns, but that could change soon for Android.
If you’re an Android user who has opted out of personalized ads, it seems that Google will not only be respecting your choice, but interestingly enough will be taking extra steps to make it even harder to track you in the future. This is according to a report from the Financial Times who says that users who opt out of targeted ads will now have their “Advertising IDs” changed to a string of zeros.
According to the Google support page:
“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.”
It’s actually an interesting choice by Google because obviously advertising is one of the main ways the company makes money, but at the same time, they can’t afford to be seen as not caring about user privacy, especially when the competition like Apple is making a big deal out of it.
Do note that this doesn’t mean that you will no longer get ads on your devices, but rather they will become more generic and less targeted, which for some might be a good thing.
Source: The Verge