How to prevent your Android Ad Tracking

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Photo: CynthiaAquino (Shutterstock) – This year, if users opt out of personalized ads and mirrel the controversial changes (sometimes contentious for advertisers) that Apple introduced in iOS14.5, Google is blocking advertisers and developers from accessing the advertising ID of a device. While you wait, however, by preventing ad tracking on all Android devices, you can opt out of personalized ads right now.

Inserts can create personalized ads based on your browsing history, application use and other activity by using your unique advertising ID – that seems to give you precise ads throughout every application you use. These IDs are also used by companies to collect information on how people use their software and services and their competitors.

But, according to a recent update from Google Support, “When a user decides not to use the advertising ID in Android Settings the advertisement ID will be removed.” Instead of the ID, any attempts to access the identifier will receive a null string.” The new policy applies to “Android 12 devices starting at the end of 2021 and expanding to impact apps on Google Play-funding devices in the beginning of 2022.”

Apple introduced a similar change to iOS 14.5 earlier in 2021, which requires apps to apply for permissions to monitor while installing and allows users to opt out of the iOS setup entirely. The wording in the update to Google Support implies that Android 12 requires applications to request similar permissions. The update also says that when privacy changes are implemented, Google plans to alert users via system notifications. But why wait?

Customized Android ads now can be opted out

Custom ads on your Android smartphone can be switched off easily: just check the “Customization option.” However, depending on the device manufacturer and the Android OS version, the setting is in different places so that you may find it tough if you don’t know where it is already. Where to look, here’s:

  • For most mobile phones, the Google App Settings > Services > Ads option is available.
  • Settings > Privacy > Advanced > Ads are available for other devices.
  • On the Services > Ads app, you can find the option in the app when your telephone has the Google Settings app installed.
  • Find “Personalize Ads Option” in a search bar in the Settings app of your Android device and it should appear if neither of these functions.

Take the slider to switch it on (sure it is blue) when you find your “Opt-out of Ad Customisation” setting. While your advertiser’s ID will not be hidden until Android 12 and the updated Play Store finishes later this year, now it is important to prevent tracking—and stop you see personalized ads on your apps.