Coming Soon: No ad tracking on Android (and your eCommerce store)

Google has recently announced that it will be following Apple’s iOS 14.5 update and implementing its own privacy and use of information procedures for Android that will require users to opt-in before receiving marketing from brands and businesses. This also means that ad tracking on Android will be next to impossible if a user chooses not to receive personalised ads.

This is to keep in line with the emerging worldwide trend concerning users who don’t wish to be tracked for advertising when moving between apps.

Further on we will discuss the merits of personalised ads and ad tracking. As a result of these changes, users will find that the ads they receive won’t be targeted to their likes and dislikes. 

Is it the end of ads? Not by a long shot. 

Why are Google (and Apple) doing this?

First and foremost, Google and Apple toe a fine line between keeping their users and advertisers happy. The saying: “if it’s free then you’re the product” has led the public to push back against the way the tech giants (including Facebook) handle data. Furthermore, hacks, data breaches and retargeting marketing from brands users have never accessed are red flags that couldn’t be ignored. 

For the most part, everyone knows that they’re being tracked to some extent through their smartphone or smart watch. However, ad tracking on Android (and Apple phones) has long been criticised for the invasiveness of the marketing. This may seem negative, but there is a science behind why these ads exist – and why you should opt-in, which will be discussed further on.

In saying that, users should be given the choice, whatever the negative impact on digital advertising is, and the time has finally come. However, it’s not all doom and gloom for advertisers. Advertisers have always dealt with new updates and privacy changes in the fluid online eCommerce ecosystem, so it only requires some adaptation and technical nous. 

No ad tracking on Android - no problem

Google has always been stringent with their ad tracking policies, therefore, this change isn’t as big as it sounds. They’re merely shifting the way that they frame their already hard-to-decode Advertising ID when users turn permission off.

Ad tracking on Android has always been a bit tricky. As a result, having innovative solutions already in place is the way forward for digital advertisers. These include new metrics and new ways of viewing ad performance holistically, as discussed in this article.

It comes as no surprise that Google is strengthening their ad tracking on Android policies, however, it seems to be more for image than users.

The fact that Apple beat them to it and broadcasted it more bodes well for how the public view Apple. Conversely, in the future once digital advertisers adapt it appears that this will not change the state of things. 

And it’s not only because of Google, Apple, or digital marketers – it’s people.

Why personalised ads are good for us

Everyone loves the idea of privacy. It makes us feel safe and secure, especially when on the web, but it’s often opting in that gets you the most access. Opting in also improves your online experience due to being able to receive ads of things that interest you.

We often hear people explaining how scary it is that they went on a website or were searching for an item of clothing and then saw an ad for it soon after. In reality, is this a surprise? 

Technology has connected us to the world but has also connected the world to us. And it’s more preferable to get ads about what you love, rather than spam. It’s similar to getting an ice cream without the sprinkles and sauce. It may look good to you, but once you see what someone else has you’re bound to be jealous.