Home Networking service Google’s new privacy measures to help users but without impact on ad revenue

Google’s new privacy measures to help users but without impact on ad revenue

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Google’s plans to phase out its advertising ID system on Android devices in favor of a system that will limit tracking and data sharing with third parties will benefit individuals but may not impact its revenue advertising to the extent that Apple’s “Ask Not to Track” feature has affected Facebook’s results given the social networking service’s heavy reliance on ad revenue.

Digital ads accounted for 43.2% of Google’s total revenue in the third quarter of 2021, according to the company’s earnings reports. Facebook, on the other hand, got 97% of its global revenue from ads in 2020, according to market research firm Statista.

The scenario in India is not much different. Google India saw 21.4% year-on-year (YOY) growth in gross advertising revenue to touch 13,887 crore, according to filings with the Registrar of Companies (RoC) in November 2021. Over the same period, Facebook’s gross advertising revenue grew 41% year-on-year in India to touch 9,326 crore.

According to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, Meta CFO Dave Wehner also said that Apple’s “do not track” feature has “caused a major dent in Facebook’s advertising business” due to its heavy reliance on advertising revenue. criticized Apple’s privacy changes, alleging it was a key reason the company lost $10 billion in advertising revenue in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Google may not be feeling the heat as much as Facebook because the difference between Google’s recently announced privacy measures and Apple’s tracking tool is that users still have to disable tracking manually on Android, experts say .

“Google introduced a number of changes last year that allowed users to disable tracking. However, the difference here is that users had to go to settings and then disable it. However, in Apple’s case, users automatically see a standard prompt asking for consent,” explained Isha Suri, senior researcher at the Center for Internet and Society.

When considering creating a privacy-preserving operating system, the changes introduced by Apple last year should be considered, Suri pointed out. The iPhone maker introduced a clean interface for disabling tracking across multiple apps and provided users with insight into the data apps collect so they can make more informed decisions.

“It is not yet clear how the latest changes made by Google will take user preferences into account. The default should be privacy preservation rather than the other way around,” she said.

Google made similar efforts late last year when it announced it would automatically strip the advertising ID of users who opt out of personalized ads, and app developers would only receive a string. zeros instead of an identifier. The new privacy measures will phase out advertising identifiers and limit the sharing of user data with third parties. Advertising ID is used by app developers to measure app usage across apps and target them with in-app advertisements.

Google’s plans to combat intrusive advertising stem from growing criticism the company is facing for its data collection practices. Regulators in several countries, including India, are studying the business practices of big tech companies such as Google and Facebook and their implications for users and competition.

An ideal approach is to remove information that may allow personal targeting, by anonymizing and aggregating the information, according to technology and policy consultant Prasanto K. Roy.

Google groups users under broad topics of interest on their device itself, so personal preferences aren’t shared even with Google’s own servers, let alone advertisers, with its cookie replacement technology called ” Topics”.

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