Google Play Services will soon delete your advertising ID when you opt out of ad personalization
Google Play Services generates an advertising ID for all users who opt-in for ad personalization. This ID not only helps Google push relevant ads to users, but it also comes in handy for analytics and fraud prevention. When you turn off ad personalization on your account, Google stops using your advertising ID to push personalized ads, but it still maintains it for other purposes. However, that’s set to change soon.
Currently, you can opt out of personalized ads by heading to Settings > Google > Ads or Settings > Privacy > Advanced > Ads on your Android device. Once you do so, Google Play Services will stop pushing personalized ad recommendations to your device, but apps on your phone will still be able to see the advertising ID. But a recent update on the Play Console Help page reveals that Google Play Services will soon delete the advertising ID when you opt out of interest-based advertising. The update states: “Starting in late 2021, when a user opts out of interest-based advertising or ads personalization, the advertising identifier will not be available. You will receive a string of zeros in place of the identifier.”
After this change goes live, apps on your phone will see a string of zeroes instead of your advertising ID if you disable personalized ads. Google Play Services will also alert all apps that have access to your advertising ID and related data, so that any existing data can be deleted. In a notice shared by developer kdrag0n, Google further reveals that “This Google Play services phased rollout will affect apps running on Android 12 devices starting late 2021 and will expand to affect apps running on devices that support Google Play in early 2022. In July, we will provide more details and an alternate solution to support essential use cases such as analytics and fraud prevention.”
At the moment, we don’t have any information about the alternate solution that Google will introduce for analytics and fraud prevention. We’ll update this post as soon as we learn more.
Thanks to developer kdrag0n for the tip!