Google Changes Android Tracking, Data Sharing

Google said Wednesday it plans to limit tracking and data sharing for users of its Android operating system, which is used by over 2.5 billion people around the world.

The change, which won’t take effect for at least two years, comes in response to growing pressure on tech companies to increase privacy by limiting tracking.

Google, which dominates the online advertising market, currently assigns IDs to each Android device and then collects highly valuable data on users that allows advertisers to target them with ads based on their interests and activities.

Google said it would test alternatives to those IDs or get rid of them entirely.

“These solutions will limit sharing of user data with third parties and operate without cross-app identifiers, including advertising ID,” the company said in a blog post. “We’re also exploring technologies that reduce the potential for covert data collection.”

“Our goal … is to develop effective and privacy-enhancing advertising solutions, where users know their information is protected, and developers and businesses have the tools to succeed on mobile,” Google added.

Google’s move follows Apple’s announcement last year that it would allow users to decide if they wanted to be tracked or not.

Google made $61 billion in advertising revenue in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to The Washington Post.

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