Remember, Remember The 5th Of November: Google Gets Anonymous With New Advertiser ID

By Thomas Sommer | November 8th, 2013
With much anticipation and extensive coverage, Google released Android 4.4 nicknamed "KitKat" last week, along with its new phone, the Nexus 5. Google not being per se a hardware company, it produced its latest phone jointly with LG Electronics (Google has indeed always teamed up with various device manufacturers - including Samsung - for the production of its Nexus phones).With much anticipation and extensive coverage, Google released Android 4.4 nicknamed "KitKat" last week, along with its new phone, the Nexus 5. Google not being per se a hardware company, it produced its latest phone jointly with LG Electronics (Google has indeed always teamed up with various device manufacturers - including Samsung - for the production of its Nexus phones).With much anticipation and extensive coverage, Google released Android 4.4 nicknamed "KitKat" last week, along with its new phone, the Nexus 5. Google not being per se a hardware company, it produced its latest phone jointly with LG Electronics (Google has indeed always teamed up with various device manufacturers - including Samsung - for the production of its Nexus phones).With much anticipation and extensive coverage, Google released Android 4.4 nicknamed "KitKat" last week, along with its new phone, the Nexus 5. Google not being per se a hardware company, it produced its latest phone jointly with LG Electronics (Google has indeed always teamed up with various device manufacturers - including Samsung - for the production of its Nexus phones). Unlike Apple, Google does not automatically push its operating system updates onto existing devices at the same time, as it preinstalls it on the latest Nexus phones, but instead rolls it out later onto specific models only. What the Mountain View firm however does for (almost) all existing devices and operating system versions is update its app store SDK, the Google Play services.The latter enables apps to benefit from system-level Google services such as Google Maps, location APIs, account syncing, etc. The important thing being that, as updates in the Google Play services SDK can be easily pushed regardless of the device type and the operating system, this functionality does a great deal in helping Google address its OS fragmentation issue.Google recently released an update to the Google Play services, version 4.0. This update is supported by all devices running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and above, which covers over 97% of all devices.Among the main feature updates, there are improvements to Google Mobile Ads, to Google Wallet as well as to Maps and Location Based Services. However, the novelty which caught most of our attention is the following (quote from the Android Developers Blog) :

"New user control over advertising identifier

To give users better controls and to provide you with a simple, standard system to continue to monetize your apps, this update contains a new, anonymous identifier for advertising purposes (to be used in place of Android ID). Google Settings now includes user controls that enable users to reset this identifier, or opt out of interest-based ads for Google Play apps."
In a recent blog post, we explained how recent changes to app store policies and regulations were drawing Apple and Google closer to each other. Here, it seems Google is making another step towards Apple's recent efforts to improve privacy for their users (on the technical as well as on the PR front). The Android ID is being replaced by an anonymous identifier "Advertising ID", which ensures that users cannot be tracked down to the individual device. The new anonymous identifier offers additional advertising controls, including the possibility for the users to reset the ID (similar to clearing cookies on desktop) and opt out of interest-based ads for Google Play apps. This move perfectly mirrors Apple's transition from UDID to Advertiser ID For Advertisers (IDFA) earlier this year.Developers have one year to update and comply with the new regulations.This November, Google also gets (somewhat more) anonymous.

android_privacy_investigation_580

Unlike Apple, Google does not automatically push its operating system updates onto existing devices at the same time, as it preinstalls it on the latest Nexus phones, but instead rolls it out later onto specific models only. What the Mountain View firm however does for (almost) all existing devices and operating system versions is update its app store SDK, the Google Play services.The latter enables apps to benefit from system-level Google services such as Google Maps, location APIs, account syncing, etc. The important thing being that, as updates in the Google Play services SDK can be easily pushed regardless of the device type and the operating system, this functionality does a great deal in helping Google address its OS fragmentation issue.Google recently released an update to the Google Play services, version 4.0. This update is supported by all devices running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and above, which covers over 97% of all devices.Among the main feature updates, there are improvements to Google Mobile Ads, to Google Wallet as well as to Maps and Location Based Services. However, the novelty which caught most of our attention is the following (quote from the Android Developers Blog) :

"New user control over advertising identifier

To give users better controls and to provide you with a simple, standard system to continue to monetize your apps, this update contains a new, anonymous identifier for advertising purposes (to be used in place of Android ID). Google Settings now includes user controls that enable users to reset this identifier, or opt out of interest-based ads for Google Play apps."
In a recent blog post, we explained how recent changes to app store policies and regulations were drawing Apple and Google closer to each other. Here, it seems Google is making another step towards Apple's recent efforts to improve privacy for their users (on the technical as well as on the PR front). The Android ID is being replaced by an anonymous identifier "Advertising ID", which ensures that users cannot be tracked down to the individual device. The new anonymous identifier offers additional advertising controls, including the possibility for the users to reset the ID (similar to clearing cookies on desktop) and opt out of interest-based ads for Google Play apps. This move perfectly mirrors Apple's transition from UDID to Advertiser ID For Advertisers (IDFA) earlier this year.Developers have one year to update and comply with the new regulations.This November, Google also gets (somewhat more) anonymous.

android_privacy_investigation_580

Unlike Apple, Google does not automatically push its operating system updates onto existing devices at the same time, as it preinstalls it on the latest Nexus phones, but instead rolls it out later onto specific models only. What the Mountain View firm however does for (almost) all existing devices and operating system versions is update its app store SDK, the Google Play services.The latter enables apps to benefit from system-level Google services such as Google Maps, location APIs, account syncing, etc. The important thing being that, as updates in the Google Play services SDK can be easily pushed regardless of the device type and the operating system, this functionality does a great deal in helping Google address its OS fragmentation issue.Google recently released an update to the Google Play services, version 4.0. This update is supported by all devices running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and above, which covers over 97% of all devices.Among the main feature updates, there are improvements to Google Mobile Ads, to Google Wallet as well as to Maps and Location Based Services. However, the novelty which caught most of our attention is the following (quote from the Android Developers Blog) :

"New user control over advertising identifier

To give users better controls and to provide you with a simple, standard system to continue to monetize your apps, this update contains a new, anonymous identifier for advertising purposes (to be used in place of Android ID). Google Settings now includes user controls that enable users to reset this identifier, or opt out of interest-based ads for Google Play apps."
In a recent blog post, we explained how recent changes to app store policies and regulations were drawing Apple and Google closer to each other. Here, it seems Google is making another step towards Apple's recent efforts to improve privacy for their users (on the technical as well as on the PR front). The Android ID is being replaced by an anonymous identifier "Advertising ID", which ensures that users cannot be tracked down to the individual device. The new anonymous identifier offers additional advertising controls, including the possibility for the users to reset the ID (similar to clearing cookies on desktop) and opt out of interest-based ads for Google Play apps. This move perfectly mirrors Apple's transition from UDID to Advertiser ID For Advertisers (IDFA) earlier this year.Developers have one year to update and comply with the new regulations.This November, Google also gets (somewhat more) anonymous.

android_privacy_investigation_580

Unlike Apple, Google does not automatically push its operating system updates onto existing devices at the same time, as it preinstalls it on the latest Nexus phones, but instead rolls it out later onto specific models only. What the Mountain View firm however does for (almost) all existing devices and operating system versions is update its app store SDK, the Google Play services.The latter enables apps to benefit from system-level Google services such as Google Maps, location APIs, account syncing, etc. The important thing being that, as updates in the Google Play services SDK can be easily pushed regardless of the device type and the operating system, this functionality does a great deal in helping Google address its OS fragmentation issue.Google recently released an update to the Google Play services, version 4.0. This update is supported by all devices running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and above, which covers over 97% of all devices.Among the main feature updates, there are improvements to Google Mobile Ads, to Google Wallet as well as to Maps and Location Based Services. However, the novelty which caught most of our attention is the following (quote from the Android Developers Blog) :

"New user control over advertising identifier

To give users better controls and to provide you with a simple, standard system to continue to monetize your apps, this update contains a new, anonymous identifier for advertising purposes (to be used in place of Android ID). Google Settings now includes user controls that enable users to reset this identifier, or opt out of interest-based ads for Google Play apps."
In a recent blog post, we explained how recent changes to app store policies and regulations were drawing Apple and Google closer to each other. Here, it seems Google is making another step towards Apple's recent efforts to improve privacy for their users (on the technical as well as on the PR front). The Android ID is being replaced by an anonymous identifier "Advertising ID", which ensures that users cannot be tracked down to the individual device. The new anonymous identifier offers additional advertising controls, including the possibility for the users to reset the ID (similar to clearing cookies on desktop) and opt out of interest-based ads for Google Play apps. This move perfectly mirrors Apple's transition from UDID to Advertiser ID For Advertisers (IDFA) earlier this year.Developers have one year to update and comply with the new regulations.This November, Google also gets (somewhat more) anonymous.

android_privacy_investigation_580

Thomas Sommer
Thomas heads up content marketing at AppLift. As such he’s in charge of sourcing, curating, creating and distributing insightful content to increase visibility and thought leadership for the company. Thomas loves to scrutinize the relentless and trilling developments of the mobile industry. You can follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Thomas