On May 26, it was reported that Apple introduced a privacy change that app developers, advertisers, and Facebook have always worried about a few weeks ago, that is, developers need to ask users’ consent before they can track them on third-party websites and apps. The user’s advertiser identifier (IDFA). The impact of Apple’s move on developers and advertisers has not yet appeared, they are waiting for the “second shoe” to land, that is, Google’s adjustment to Android AdID.
Many people originally expected that Google might announce similar adjustments to Android AdID at the developer conference last week, but this did not become a reality. However, this does not mean that Google has chosen to give up, and adjustments are inevitable. But the good news is that developers don’t just sit and wait. They can evaluate potential initiatives that Google may implement in order to develop strategies that will help mitigate the impact of Google’s final decision.
The following are three options that Google may choose to adjust Android AdID, as well as the possibility and possible impact of each option:
Option 1: Abandon Android AdID completely
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The most complicated transformation will be to completely abandon Android AdID and move advertising and reporting to the Android operating system. Such an approach will be based on the work of the Chrome Privacy Sandbox team and may reflect some features of Apple’s SKAdNetwork. At a higher level, solutions like Privacy Sandbox and SKAdNetwork break the relationship between developers/publishers and consumers.
Although there are fierce debates about whether this approach is beneficial to protecting consumer privacy, it is less controversial that it will consolidate at the expense of independent advertising technology, advertisers, and possibly publishers and application developers. Platform strength. However, Google has already faced an investigation into the impact of Privacy Sandbox competition and privacy. Can the company really withstand the scrutiny of Android by competition regulators?
Conclusion: Google is unlikely to choose this option, but if the company decides to make Chrome and Android consistent, this option is still possible.
Option 2: imitate Apple to launch App anti-tracking function
The second solution is to follow the approach taken by Apple in the App Anti-Tracking Function (Ad Tracking Transparency, ATT for short), that is, when obtaining the user’s Android AdID and tracking user behavior, the user’s permission must be obtained first. At the same time, Google needs to introduce a relevant policy framework to supervise and enforce a broader definition of tracking. Keep in mind that tracking of iOS involves a lot of data usage, not just access to IDFA.
Although this solution is not impossible, it will alienate Google from two key stakeholder groups, including application developers and advertisers. App developers will find it more difficult to understand whether their ads drive the installation of the app, and advertisers will also find it more difficult to place personalized ads in the app. Unlike Google, recent congressional testimony seems to indicate that Apple has no vested interest in the advertising ecosystem.
If Google finally makes major policy adjustments around “tracking,” it is expected that there will be a collaborative rollout process to allow developers and advertisers time to fully prepare for such significant changes.
Conclusion: It is possible to implement this program, but Google needs to bear the risk of stakeholder backlash.
Option 3: Give users a choice and abide by the law
The third plan that Google may implement is to introduce a simplified alternative to Apple’s ATT. Users can choose whether to accept access to Android AdID, but it does not require prior user consent to perform additional tracking like Apple. The Android AdID moved to the option is a technical change, and requiring user consent to perform other forms of tracking, such as collecting email addresses when logging in, is a policy change. This approach will provide consumers with additional transparency and choice, while avoiding tricky policy debates surrounding how to define tracking.
In addition to Android AdID, application developers can also collect and use data other than Android AdID in accordance with California’s Consumer Privacy Act, Virginia’s Consumer Data Protection Act, EU’s General Data Protection Regulation and other laws . This approach will leave the controversy over the “consisting of tracking factors” to the U.S. Congress, allowing it to deal with the trade-offs between pros and cons and related policy debates.
This is the most likely scenario for three reasons: first, it is clearly a step in the right direction for consumers; second, it will help alleviate the concerns of privacy regulators; third , It will maintain the trust of application developers and advertisers.
Conclusion: This seems to be the most likely option for Google.
Google is expected to make an announcement in the next few months. Application developers and advertisers must use this time to bet on the most likely implementation of the three options mentioned above, and then step up planning and preparations.
Also need to remember: no matter which scheme Google chooses, consumer privacy will be given top priority. This may mean that the scale of data in the future will be smaller, data science will be more intelligent, and a clearer explanation of the value exchange that occurs when consumers choose to allow the collection and use of their data. Trust must be at the core of everything we build.