Google has decided to join the controversial yet consumer-friendly movement of asking users about getting tracked by an app for advertisement purposes. This isn’t out yet but soon after following in Apple’s iOS footsteps, users will be able to opt-out of ad tracking by apps like Facebook. This move has been labelled as ‘non-business friendly’ by Facebook unsuccessfully, and many also speculate this will let Google and Apple have even more control over how ads are shown because of their higher level of access to the mobile OS. Thing is, Apple didn’t make trillions showing ads so when they play the good corpo ‘we care about your privacy’ card – it honestly works; but what about Google?
I want to give my two cents about this situation.
Cent number one; Google is already supposedly working on a cookie replacement called FLoC, this will allow Google to categorize its heaps of data into behaviours without identifying the individual. In my opinion, this along with the new privacy feature of app ad tracking allows Google to monopolise the ad industry. Also, this sounds a lot like ‘we won’t know who you are, but we will perfectly calibrate your behaviour to fall in a specific category carefully curated by our AI to show more and better guess what? Ads, yes more ads’
Cent number two; I have been using an Android device for the last couple of months and I initially just loved the level of control you have on everything. Took me 5 days to just set my notifications specific to my nuances. The thing is, nothing works perfectly; I suppose giving users access to more settings also opens doors to more bugs. This privacy setting just adds on to yet another thing you can control but not assure. When Apple introduces anything in iOS, in my experience, it has worked 99% of the time, but with Android – as much as I love the OS functionality, the optimization is just terrible with any new setting; heck the autorotate toggle will crash my YouTube more times than I can count.
Nonetheless, this move is good for consumers, no one likes to be tracked, but it does not mean Apple and Google are doing you a favour. Apple already makes its trillions elsewhere and Google owns most of the ad space, they don’t need to track you.
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