Google looking for alternative to Apple’s ‘App Tracking Transparency’ feature

Google is exploring a way to limit data collection and cross-app tracking in Android devices, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. The company is trying to find a way how it can limit this less strictly than Apple’s App Tracking Transparency feature. 

Google already allows Android users “Opt out of Ads Personalization” from system preferences, as well as reset identifiers.

Google’s main motivation in this quest is to meet the growing demands of privacy-conscious consumers, while also preventing potential financial losses to app developers and advertisers.

According to Bloomberg’s report, Alphabet Inc, the parent company of Google, is currently collecting input and insight from stakeholders, “similar to how it’s slowly developing a new privacy standard for web browsing called the Privacy Sandbox.”

“We’re always looking for ways to work with developers to raise the bar on privacy while enabling a healthy, ad-supported app ecosystem,” a Google spokesman said in a statement.

A Google solution is likely to be less strict and won’t require a prompt to opt in to data tracking like Apple’s, the people familiar with the matter said to Bloomberg.

Apple announced on January 28 that its App Tracking Transparency feature will roll out in early spring with an upcoming release of iOS14, iPadOS 14, and tvOS 14. Facebook is one of the companies that strongly oppose Apple’s this feature. It started showing Apple users a prompt to encourage them to allow ad tracking explaining how it will affect their ad experiences, due to Apple’s upcoming App Tracking Transparency feature which will require developers to get user permission to continue tracking their activities.  

‘’We disagree with Apple’s approach, but will be showing their prompt to ensure stability for the businesses and people who use our services,’’ said Dan Levy, Facebook’s VP of Ads and Business Products in a blog post. ‘’Apple’s new prompt suggests there is a tradeoff between personalized advertising and privacy; when in fact, we can and do provide both.’’ 

Written by Sophie Blake

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