Blog Google announces the removal of Android Advertising ID for Limited Ad Tracking users

Google announces the removal of Android Advertising ID for Limited Ad Tracking users

Today, Google announced that as of Android 12, the Android Advertising ID will be zeroed out for all users who have opted out of ads personalization in their device settings.

What does this mean for the industry?

How the Android Advertising ID is used now:

The Android Advertising ID is a unique, resettable ID per device. It is used as the main identifier for advertising networks to serve targeted and retargeted ads. It is also used to build audiences or suppression lists when launching a new campaign with a new media partner.

When Android users opt out of ads personalization, a setting available since 2013, their Android Advertising ID cannot be used for ad targeting or retargeting. However, the Android Advertising ID was still available because it could be used for measurement, analytics and fraud prevention. With Android 12, the Android Advertising ID of opted-out users will appear as a string of zeros.

How Attribution and Measurement will work soon:

At Adjust, we have been using the Android Advertising ID since its inception to do deterministic attribution. When Android 12 is live, we will not be able to use the Android Advertising ID for the attribution of opted out users.

Adjust has never stored Android Advertising IDs internally and all Android Advertising IDs for users who have opted out of ads personalization have always been flagged accordingly when received so as to respect the user's privacy.

However, we are working closely with the Google Ads team to make sure that we can continue to provide deterministic attribution for all inventory even after Android 12 is live.

We believe that we can accomplish this through the Google Play Install Referrer.

The Google Play Install Referrer is a standard and reliable method to attribute conversions deterministically through Google Play. We rely on the Google Play Install Referrer to provide deterministic attribution in addition to the Android Advertising ID. Google has announced that the Google Play Install Referrer is the official, Google-approved method to keep attribution deterministic. As we have been using it for years, it's already supported by our SDKs, so there is no change needed for our advertisers. We’ve looked at our data and have found that the current opted-out rates on Android over the last 12 months are on average slightly above 2%.

Android 12 is expected to roll out in late 2021. As always, we will make sure to keep you up to date on any changes.

Overall, this is a welcome move towards a more privacy-conscious ecosystem and we are working with the Google team to ensure that all services are fully supported when Android 12 arrives.

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