Google Changing Android Phones’ Privacy Settings
How Android Phones Will Change
Google parent company Alphabet (GOOGL) announced plans to overhaul Android cell phones’ privacy features. Analysts say the move will effectively cut apps’ ability to track user data. The issue of user privacy is coming under increased scrutiny due to the outsized role collected data plays in digital advertising.
The new privacy feature will eventually replace Android phones’ advertising ID, which is a string of characters unique to each device. Google says the current system won’t be changed for two years in order to give advertisers a chance to respond.
The Move for Privacy Could Harm Meta
Analysts say Google’s decision to add in new privacy restrictions will make a major impact on the digital advertising industry. The growth of cell phones and mobile apps in general has allowed companies to discreetly collect data from billions of devices. That process could soon undergo major changes amid Google’s change for Android.
When Apple (AAPL) announced its privacy plan last year, it sent shockwaves through the world of digital advertising. Analysts argue the news has partly contributed to a $300 billion loss in market value for Meta Platforms (FB). Over the past decade, Facebook has been successfully tracking consumer preferences by layering code into hundreds of thousands of apps, but that process is clearly changing.
Apple’s Example in Focus
Some companies have accused Apple’s App Tracking Transparency feature of being overly restrictive of digital advertising companies’ data-harvesting efforts. Google seemed to agree with that sentiment in a recent blog post that said some other platforms have “bluntly restricted” existing technologies. The company also defended its approach in a blog post by saying it offers a “privacy-preserving alternative path” that can be used by advertisers and developers.
Analysts note Google could have other more self-serving reasons for aiming to protect users’ privacy. Some lawmakers are pursuing legislation concerning the issue, and regulators have raised concerns as well. Both Google and Apple are causing big changes within the digital advertising industry, which is being closely watched by both the market and Main Street.
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