Google’s Ad Tracking Limit: How Does it Differ with Apple’s IDFA | AlgoriX

Google’s Ad Tracking Limit: How Does it Differ from Apple’s IDFA

Privacy is a big issue, particularly among mobile users. Concerns about mobile ads ruining user experience have caused quite a stir among advertisers. At the recent annual Google developer conference, the tech giant announced they would roll out additional features that would allow mobile users to limit ad tracking, curbing the Android operating system’s (OS) ability to continuously harvest data by disabling the advertising ID.

The advertising ID is a unique identifier used for advertising, which is provided by Google Play services. In essence, it’s used by developers as a feature to monetize their apps. For users, it provides better control for ad personalization.

At present, the Advertising ID still allows tracking of users who opted out each time they turn on an app. The reason behind this is mainly because this ID is still used for non-advertising related data, including analytics, attribution, and fraud detection. With the recent change, however, the ad ID of users who have opted out will now show a string of zeros.

According to the company’s statement, advertisers will be able to use an alternative to the existing Android Ad ID for managing fraud detection and analytics without the need to access users who opted out.

How Does Google’s Ad Tracking Limit Differ from Apple’s IDFA

The new feature may remind advertisers of the recent changes that Apple made last February. Apple’s IDFA similarly stripped the ID for Advertising (IDFA) for users who chose to opt out of tracking. However, Android users will have their own so-called “privacy dashboard” wherein people can control specific apps with access to their location, microphone, and camera.

Android phones will also have an indicator to let the users know if a particular app is trying to listen or record a video. Users who wish to limit ad tracking can disable ad tracking from their Android phones. It differs from Apple’s privacy alerts wherein iOS would proactively alert the user and ask them to decide if they will allow ad tracking via the AppTrackingTransparency framework. In a sense, Apple’s ad tracking is much tougher than Google’s, and its recent data shows that a large percentage of users are rejecting tracking. However, this approach doesn’t mean that Google won’t be taking a much more aggressive stance towards increasing its privacy standards.
On their support page, Google shared that, “Longer term, we’ll evaluate additional opportunities to provide users with even more informed control over what persistent identifiers are provided to third parties.”

This means that Google will undergo constant review and coordination with stakeholders to see whether they must institute necessary policy changes.

What It Means for Ad Tech Providers

With limits on user identifiers, advertisers must brace for tougher competition. They must adequately prepare for an ecosystem where they can no longer rely on third-party cookies and identifiers if they want to get a fair share of the market. Calls for answering the needs of consumers when it comes to protecting their privacy should come first.

Google’s ad tracking limit is the company’s answer to the growing privacy concerns among mobile users. The company acknowledges the immense value of tracking for personalization, but they stress it makes users feel uneasy about their personal data and how advertisers use them. Apple’s IDFA pitch leans towards paying a premium price for a mobile unit that blocks tracking, while Google’s vision is more towards keeping prices fair.

AlgoriX constantly innovates to provide our stakeholders with avenues and resources to streamline their monetization strategies or reach their target audiences. If you’d like to know more about how we can help you increase your revenues or maximize your ad spending, contact us or get in touch with your account manager.



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Pranav Kataria

Associate Director, Programmatic Strategy

As the Associate Director of Programmatic Strategy, Pranav brings over 8 years of experience in the adtech industry working with Publishers, DSPs, Agencies, and Advertisers from global regions to improve their monetization, performance, and strategies. With great understanding of the mobile market, his expertise lies in analytics, account management, strategy, and ad sales. With this refined skill set, he brings customer-centric mindfulness that enables growth and innovation.

Before joining AlgoriX, his keen business perspective and skills have earned him opportunities to work across different organizations and verticals in the advertising ecosystem; be it improving the processes, sales enablement, and managing client relationships.

Ray Xia

VP, AlgoriX Partner Studio

Ray Xia was a mainstay at Tencent Games, having worked at the company for 13 years. There, he took on various roles including backend developer, application development manager, and game producer. During this time, he actively participated in the development and operation of popular titles such as QQ Pet, QQ Pet Fight, and games involving the Naruto franchise. To date, these games have over 10 million daily active users. Through this rich well of experience he has accumulated covering all aspects of game development and operation, he aims to spearhead more creative endeavors via AlgoriX Studios.

Naomi Li

VP, Research and Development

Naomi Li has a decade’s worth of experience in research and development for the adtech industry. She started her career at Baidu where she was mainly responsible for the Automation Testing of the Baidu Fengchao Ad Search Engine. There, she focused on the fields of overlapping experiment infrastructure, rich media ads rendering, and ad antispam technology. Moreover, as part of Baidu’s International Group, she led the research and development of various monetization and advertising mechanisms for Baidu’s overseas app store, SDK, and AdNetwork. At present, she is responsible for the overall direction of AlgoriX’s R&D efforts, which include product planning, technical architecture design, and talent training.

Frederic Liow

SVP, Revenue Growth & Strategy

A veteran in the digital advertising industry, he began his career during the early days of the dotcom era. To date, his passion for the digital industry is still as strong as ever (and getting even stronger). Spanning twenty years of his digital career, he has worked for leading companies like Nielsen, MRM McCann, Omnicom Media Group, Millward Brown and Smaato. Currently, Frederic is the revenue officer for AlgoriX spearheading global revenue growth, business expansion and strategic partnerships. He has set up and built AlgoriX’s global mobile ad exchange, hiring talents, establishing best practices, and injecting global industry standards into the company. Prior to his current role, he was the Head of Demand for Smaato, overseeing the demand business and operations in APAC. Frederic is currently based in our Singapore HQ.

Xinxiao Guo

Chief Operation Officer

Equipped with a decade’s worth of experience in global product operation as well as a deep understanding of emerging markets, Xinxiao brings her expertise in mobile traffic monetization and programmatic advertising to the table. Before her role at AlgoriX, she was a core member of iQIYI’s research and development unit. After that, she moved to Baidu as Head of Programmatic Advertising.

At present, she is AlgoriX’s co-founder and Chief Operation Officer. Together with the team, she aims to help game developers effectively reach global audiences and implement better monetization strategies.

Ruiz Xie

Chief Executive Officer

With nearly 20 years of business experience, Ruiz Xie founded AlgoriX with the vision of creating a global advertising platform and entertainment ecosystem. Through AlgoriX’s services, he aims to create a more inclusive tech ecosystem by providing customized solutions that meet the needs of businesses at every stage. At the same time, through AlgoriX Studios and its third-party partner studios, the company is currently bringing to life a greater goal of providing a comprehensive entertainment platform for people worldwide, which covers games, IP, comics, movies, and more. At present, he leads nearly a hundred employees with concrete plans to expand the company by establishing more offices worldwide.

Before founding AlgoriX, Ruiz Xie joined CoreMail in 2002. There, he created the first Ajax version of the mailbox in China for NetEase, which was the largest Internet company in China at the time. After that, he joined Tencent in 2005 and contributed to the creation of Tencent Games while also building a large scale distributed storage system. In 2013, he moved to Baidu where he took part in developing Baidu International’s overall architecture and search advertising system. During his tenure, he was also the Chairman of the Baidu Global Technical Committee and Baidu’s chief architect.