Google is following Apple in stopping cross-app tracking on Android phones, the company said Wednesday. The change potentially creates another challenge for platforms that rely on app-tracking to understand consumer behavior and bolster their ads businesses.
“We don’t think there should be a forced choice between privacy and developers building their business,” Anthony Chavez, VP of product management for Android security and privacy, told the Wall Street Journal.
Given the fallout from Apple's privacy change, which requires apps to ask users if they want to be tracked, platforms like Facebook may have a hard time with Google's plan for Android. During its most recent earnings call, Meta said Apple’s ad tracking rule will result in a $10 billion sales drop this year. Snap, on the other hand, had expected Apple's rule would be more of a challenge a few months ago, but the company doesn’t seem too concerned anymore.
Google said it will create a more privacy-focused system for gathering information about users, but details on the new system are sparse, according to WSJ. Some smartphone apps currently collect and share data about users using alphanumeric identifiers, or a series of letters and numbers tied to a device. Google said it will continue supporting those apps for at least two years before implementing any changes.