Last Wednesday, tech titan Google announced it will apply privacy changes to its policy. These changes will cut tracking across apps on Android devices. The privacy changes are similar to what Apple made last year.
Unlike Apple, however, Google plans to slowly roll out its changes so as not to alienate platforms such as Facebook.
Google To Apply New Privacy Changes
Google’s privacy changes will affect its advertising ID, a unique character string that serves as a user’s device identity. This ID assists ad-tech companies track and sharing information about consumer habits.
In particular, privacy changes can disrupt how companies track users across apps. Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, tracks user data across its apps.
Previously, Apple’s adjustments to its privacy policies hit Meta hard. The company said that Apple’s changes cost them $10 billion in sales.
Ultimately, Meta lost $232 billion in market cap as its stocks plummeted. Last June, Meta was worth more than $1 trillion. However, the company’s market value is now below $600 billion.
Meta More Accepting of Google’s Privacy Changes
Google will continue to support current identifiers for the next two years. This allows companies such as Meta to implement changes to the way they do business.
Meta and other social platforms called out Apple for its surprise approach in rolling out its App Tracking Transparency feature.
Apple surprised the world last year when it limited the way advertisers can access iPhone users’ identifiers. It switched control back to users by giving them the option to block apps from tracking their data.
Even as Meta heavily criticized Apple for its decision last year, the company gave its support to Google for its privacy changes. Graham Mudd, Meta VP for product marketing, lauded Google’s decision to slowly implement its changes.
He said that it’s “ encouraging to see this long-term, collaborative approach to privacy-protective personalized advertising from Google. We look forward to continued work with them and the industry on privacy-enhancing tech through industry groups.”
Google Alluded To Apple’s Approach
In a blog post, Google’s VP of product management, security, and privacy Anthony Chavez alluded to Apple’s direct approach. He said that Google realized that other platforms took a different approach to ads privacy.
In doing so, they restricted existing technologies used by developers and advertisers. He said that if platforms don’t provide a privacy-preserving alternative path, these approaches might not work. It can also “lead to worse outcomes for user privacy and developer businesses.”
However, Google’s efforts to amend its privacy policies have their own motive. Doing so can help the technology company remain clear of potential regulatory issues.
Currently, many lawmakers and advocacy groups are calling for increased protections for their personal data. In addition, Google also committed to working more closely with industry regulators.
Watch the Yahoo Finance video discussing what Google's changes to data tracking means for consumers and companies:
Are you comfortable using social media platforms knowing that they collect user data to share or sell with advertisers?
In addition, do you support moves by tech companies to improve privacy policies that limit the way advertisers track data?
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