Google prevents app developers from using advertising IDs for any purpose after users have been logged out

On June 3, 2021, Google informed the app developers that from the end of 2021, when users of the Android 12 operating system unsubscribe from personalized ads, the advertising ID provided by the Google Play services (the Google ad ID or ” GAID “) is no longer available to app developers for any purpose.

The GAID is a unique, user-resettable ID that is used for personalized advertising and other restricted purposes. Currently, if a user declines to receive personalized ads on their Android device, the user’s GAID remains available to app developers for certain limited purposes (including analytics and fraud prevention). With the announced change from the end of 2021, the GAID of users who unsubscribe from receiving personalized ads will no longer be available to app developers for any purpose. Developers are given a series of zeros instead.

According to the announcement, Google will provide an alternative solution to GAID in July 2021 to support essential use cases like analytics and fraud prevention. This change will go beyond users of the Android 12 operating system in early 2022 and will be applied to all devices that support Google Play.

Google’s announcement follows Apple’s AppTracking Transparency Framework (“ATT” framework), which went into effect in April 2021. In contrast to Apple’s ATT framework, however, Google will not (1) require users to expressly use their GAID for advertising purposes or (2) prohibit app developers from using other persistent device IDs after the user has logged out used to deliver advertisements to the user’s device, as long as the app presents users with a privacy policy and treats user data in accordance with the Google Developer Distribution Agreement. Google’s announcement follows the new privacy and security requirements for Google Play apps announced in May 2021.

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