Google Restricts Android System Data Tracking

Google said Wednesday that it plans to limit tracking and sharing of data for users of the Android operating system, which is used by more than 2.5 billion people worldwide.

The changes, which will not take effect for at least two years, come in response to increasing pressure on the tech company to improve privacy by restricting tracking.

Google, which dominates the online advertising market, currently determines an ID or identification for each Android device and then collects very valuable data about users that allows advertisers to target them with advertisements based on user interests and activities.

Google says it will test alternatives to the ID or remove it completely.

“This solution will limit the sharing of user data with third parties and operate without cross-application identification, including advertising IDs,” the company said in a blog post. “We are also exploring technologies that reduce the potential for collecting confidential data.”

“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 devices,” added Google.

Google’s move follows Apple’s announcement last year that the company would let users decide whether or not they want to be tracked.

According to The Washington Post, Google earned $61 billion in advertising revenue in the fourth quarter of 2021. [my/jm]