According to the latest news, Google is considering developing an Android alternative to Apple’s upcoming App Tracking Transparency. This was first reported on Thursday by Bloomberg.
Google has not confirmed whether it is indeed working on an anti-tracking privacy measure for Android or not. Recently, in a statement, a Google spokesperson told The Verge, “We are always looking for ways to work with developers to raise the bar on privacy while enabling a healthy, ad supported app ecosystem.”
App Tracking Transparency was first announced at Apple’s developer conference last summer. It effectively slides a system level opt-in between an app’s tracking capabilities and a user’s preferences. To be precise, if the user says he or she does not want to be tracked, there is nothing the developer can do to get around that because Apple will disable the developer’s ability to gather the so called Identifier for Advertisers code or IDFA. These codes lets advertisers track users from one app or website to another for ad targeting while also helping advertisers measure the effectiveness of ads.
Apple intends to check developers using audits and other methods to enforce its policies. It includes potentially suspending or banning apps from the App Store if a developer does not comply.
Facebook and Google have publicly expressed concern on how Apple’s opt-in requirement could negatively affect their mobile advertising networks. Facebook has eventually begun waging a public relations war against Apple over the change by complaining it will harm small businesses.
On the other hand, Google’s take on App Tracking Transparency is not so severe. Bloomberg reported that instead of forcing opt-in requirements on app developers, the Android alternative may resemble some of the upcoming privacy controls planned for Google’s Chrome browser. , Google seeks to end some of the more insidious tracking technologies on the web today by developing less invasive alternatives and giving users more opt-out mechanisms in Google Chrome.
Google develops new privacy practices and standards for the web under its Privacy Sandbox project. Currently, it has taken steps to phase out third-party cookies on Chrome. It is also working on tools that allow advertisers to target groups of users instead of directly targeting individuals.