Google is planning privacy changes, echoing Apple's shift that hit Facebook ads business

Google stated that it will continue to support current system for two years, while it develops privacy-focused alternatives for current device tracking tech.

Google is planning privacy changes, echoing Apple's shift that hit Facebook ads business

Google has announced that it will adopt new privacy restrictions to reduce tracking across its Android apps. This follows a similar move by Apple last summer that upset several companies' advertising practices.

Google stated that it is developing privacy-focused alternatives for its advertisement ID. This unique string of characters identifies the device and allows Google to track users. A lot of ad-tech companies use smartphones' digital IDs to track and share consumer information.

Big companies, such as Facebook parent Meta, that depend on tracking users across apps could be affected by the changes. Meta was particularly affected by Apple's privacy changes. Meta stated earlier this month that Apple's privacy changes would reduce the social media company’s sales by approximately $10 Billion. This news helped to reduce the company's market capital by $232 billion in one day. It eventually dropped below $600 billion. Meta's market cap was more than $1 trillion in June 2013.

Meta opposed Apple's changes but supported the way Google will implement privacy tweaks.

Graham Mudd (Vice President of Product Marketing and Ads at Facebook), stated on Twitter that "[It] is] encouraging to observe this long-term collaborative approach to privacy protection personalized advertising from Google." "We look forward working with them and industry groups on privacy-enhancing technology through industry groups."

Google stated that it will continue to support current identifiers over the next two-years, giving other companies time to make changes.

Apple was criticised by Facebook and other companies because it introduced its App Tracking Transparency function. This feature reduces targeting capabilities and prevents advertisers from accessing an iPhone user ID. Users were able to block advertising apps from using their data by enabling a pop-up window.

Google criticised Apple's method in a blog post, but did not name the company.

"We recognize that other platforms have taken an alternative approach to ads privacy. This bluntly restricts existing technologies used for developers and advertisers," Anthony Chavez, Google Android vice president of product and security management, stated in the blog post. We believe such approaches, if not offered as a privacy-preserving alternative route, can lead to ineffective outcomes and worse outcomes for users and developers businesses.

The tech giant could focus on privacy practices to avoid regulatory problems as consumers and lawmakers become more concerned about their personal data. The company stated that it will work closely with regulators.


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