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You told us: You really want an Apple-like anti-app tracking feature on Android
Apple recently introduced its controversial App Tracking Transparency feature on iOS. If enabled, the privacy-focused feature restricts apps from tracking you across the web and other third-party apps. This would ultimately mean users gaining more control over how companies share their personal information for ad-targeting. It would also mean people seeing fewer necessary apps. But personalized ads that are sometimes useful could also take a hit.
With iOS 14.5, Apple gives iPhone users a choice to opt out of app tracking. So we asked our readers if they would also want a similar anti-app tracking feature on Android. We gave readers three options to choose from. Here’s how they voted in our poll.
Should Android implement an Apple-like App Tracking Transparency feature?
We published our anti-app tracking feature poll on our website, Twitter, and YouTube and received a total of 35,848 votes across all platforms. The resounding thought amongst most Android users we surveyed is that they too want an Apple-like App Tracking Transparency feature on their phone.
86% of all the respondents favored having the feature on Android and felt that it’s a step in the right direction for privacy. Meanwhile, 8.7% said that they are okay with the way things currently stand on Android as far as app-based tracking is concerned.
A mere 5.35% of the total number of poll takers said they don’t care about apps tracking them across the web and other apps.
Glenn Gore: I am tracked enough by Google, et al, I am grateful for the option to stop some of that tracking when I want to. And I am grateful for the option to turn it back on should I ever feel the need. OPTIONS, something Android users have always mentioned about why that OS is so great, so it is a bit odd when they blast this particular option. Interesting.
andres_1: I wouldn’t hold my breath for Google to implement this on Android though…haha
Leif Shantz: I used to be in the “I don’t care” club, but the increasing exposure of what companies do with my data, the more cautious I am, especially Facebook.
EasyCare: Apple knows how to market their devices as privacy-friendly because they make a profit from their expensive hardware, not by targeted advertising like Google. While this feature is great for consumers, I’m sure the majority of them already have their data exposed through other means (social media from computers, emails, etc.). Personally, I consent to personalized advertising.
Lamar Taylor: I think the keyword in this discussion is “transparency” and not privacy. I don’t think anyone expects full privacy on the internet or social media, but we should at least know when data is being collected and what data is being collected.
Anthorama: They should just implement it in the phone settings and not into every app. This is nonsense and why this Apple thing is a joke: you can still track everybody using Apple Search Ads, even the ones that opted out.
TheOracle: I voted yes. However, since Android enabled DoT Private DNS, it doesn’t really bother me anymore. Ads and trackers are blocked on all my devices, apps, VPN, routers, and browsers. It may not be 100% effective, but it’s very close. For those who aren’t as obsessed as me, it should be made available. P.S. Google and Facebook are by far the worst offenders in my blocking logs. Google, I don’t mind so much as I’m deep in their ecosystem, but I’m as ruthless as possible with the insidious parasite called Facebook.
Albin: No doubt app devs will eventually respond by limiting functionality for users who fail to accept. To me, it’s the lack of transparency about what’s aggregated and where it’s sent or sold. Google itself has a pretty straightforward trade-off of data mining for some excellent services, and I can use them under a non-commercial nonsense Gmail account, knowing what I do and don’t get on those terms. Other apps, especially those requiring a real personal identity and credit card, should be so clear about it.
dembow: Stop with this privacy propaganda already. Apple users have nothing left to do with their useless devices, so now they’re desperately hooking people in their boring garden with this privacy bs. What a great way to sell you an invisible product. Just no.
BlackSh33p: Fandroids like to point out how everything can be customized on android… why not just consider this another customization feature?
Dllemm: I’m fine with paying for my OS development to be less exploited for ads and other nefarious reasons.
This was discussed years ago (digital fingerprints), but Apple is the only one moving on it. And even that took way too long.
MM_Rafez: I don’t think it’s a good idea for android. We’ve to understand that Android and iOS’s approaches are very different. Apple advertises their product as a privacy-based product, and they can get away with high hardware prices.
But that doesn’t work with android. Android smartphones are more like value-based offerings(except a few). So, doing this will raise android based devices’ prices significantly.
Raghavendra N: Android implementing such a feature would adversely affect google ads strategy too. Confused situation for Android.
Opemilekan Adesunloye: I predict other manufacturers like Samsung and OnePlus may do it first and maybe that’ll force Google to do it.
Red Dragon: Tracking isn’t an issue. It’s not like someone is tracking your location and being a creep to stalk you. They’re using the data to give you discounts and try to make you a customer for future products. There’s nothing wrong with data tracking. I don’t get what everyone’s problem is.