Bloomberg reports that ahead of the Spring launch of Apple’s privacy update, App Tracking Transparency (ATT), Google is looking into an alternative of the ‘ask permission’ prompt for its Andriod app. Recently, to help its partners to adapt to upcoming tracking changes on the iOS platform, Google announced that it will not use IDFA for some of its iOS apps.
With the ATT privacy feature, Apple is going to introduce another digital protective layer to enhance users’ privacy on iOS by making it mandatory for developers to seek permission before tracking their online activity across third-party apps and websites on iPhone. The ATT features worry developers/companies like Google because they fear that most users would opt-out of tracking and that will adversely hamper the targeted ads business model which would result in lower revenue.
Internally, the search giant is discussing how it can limit data collection and cross-app tracking on the Android operating system in a way that is less stringent than Apple’s solution, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private plans.
Worried about lower ad revenues, Google is looking for an alternative to Apple’s ATT privacy feature on the Andriod platform
Although Apple postponed the App Tracking Transparency feature, iOS 14 was launched with other privacy features that shock the tech app industry, when iPhone users found apps like LinkedIn, Reddit, TikTok, Instagram, and others were copying and storing information saved on their smartphone’s clipboards. The social media outburst did make the developers change their app tracking practices, it also showed users sentiments to protect their privacy against such invasive app tracking. Therefore, the public support for more privacy has made Google implement a new Apple-like app-tracking system on Andriod operating system which will not impact ad revenues. Bloomberg writes that,
Google is trying to balance the rising demands of privacy-conscious consumers with the financial needs of developers and advertisers. The Alphabet Inc. unit is seeking input from these 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.
With more than $100 billion in annual digital ad sales, Google has a vested interest in helping partners to continue generating revenue by targeting ads to Android device users and measuring the performance of those marketing spots.
Having said that, people familiar with the matter told the publisher that the search engine giant would not implement an ATT like prompt. So, we question how will the company give users a new privacy system without an opt-out option.
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 said. The exploration into an Android alternative to Apple’s feature is still in the early stages, and Google hasn’t decided when, or if, it will go ahead with the changes.