Google is reportedly working on a tracking transparency method akin to what Apple implemented on the App Store. The move, according to a Bloomberg report is aimed at offering better transparency regarding usage of data.
- Google plans a privacy label system for Android
- Less stringent than Apple's App Tracking Transparency
Bloomberg has been able to speak to sources within Google's ranks who report that the company is working on an Android alternative to Apple's privacy system, which will take effect on iOS devices running iOS 14.5 and later. It is rumored that the deliberations are still at a very early stage, but what is currently known is that that the planned system will be less restrictive than Apple's App Tracking Transparency.
Facebook in particular has taken a strong stance against Apple's approach and claims that the new system threatens 'free internet'. The fact that Facebook, of all people, is acting as the saviour of the Internet is, in my opinion, simply a joke and the cherry on top of the hypocrisy cake.
Given that Google has generated over $100 billion in annual advertising revenue in recent years, this tracking protection has to be very carefully balanced between protection for users and the interests of advertisers. So the goal is: better privacy for every Android user without alienating the companies.
Tracking protection via "privacy sandbox"?
How Google will solve this problem, the Bloomberg report could not yet conclusively clarify. However, a similar approach to the currently tested sandbox system, which Google has developed for the Chrome browser, would be conceivable. This system, dubbed "Privacy Sandbox," moves targeting to the browser and ensures that advertisers no longer have access to individual user identities, but only to common interest groups. According to Bloomberg, this "Privacy Sandbox" is at least one approach that is being discussed internally at Google.
On the other hand, it is not to be expected that Google will proceed as consistently as Apple and demand explicit user consent for data tracking, as is being considered for iOS. As mentioned, Google certainly has in mind to improve data protection without scaring away app developers and advertisers, and the future must show whether the Californians can manage this compromise in such a way that all sides can live well with it.
While Apple's transparency push will soon take hold for iOS 14.5 users, a launch for the Android alternative is still up in the air. If the report is correct and currently even the procedure still has to be discussed internally, it might still be a long way that Google has to go until Android users will find such an equivalent on their smartphone.