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Android to Introduce ADID Opt-Out in Late 2021

By June 9, 2021June 11th, 2021Blog

What marketers need to know about this important change

The Google advertising ID (ADID), which has long been Android’s unique, user-resettable ID for advertising purposes will experience a major shift in late 2021. To date, users could reset the ID and/or opt-out of personalized ads, but the ADID could still be gathered from the device by app developers. An update to the Play Console Help center announced that later this year “when a user opts out of interest-based advertising or ads personalization, the advertiser identifier will not be available. You will receive a string of zeros in place of the identifier.”

Android Advertising ID change

Here’s what you need to know about this important change.

Is this similar to Apple’s AppTrackingTransparency (ATT) framework?

Not really. Google’s upcoming change for Android is much closer to Apple’s Limit Ad Tracking (LAT) feature. That update allowed iOS users to toggle off ad tracking at the operating system (OS) level for their entire device, which blocked apps from collecting the Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA). 

As opposed to Apple’s ATT framework, which manifests as an app-level prompt, no app-level prompt is being rolled out by Google. The ability to opt-out will remain a toggle within the device settings menus. 

Resetting ADID

Does opt-out impact other persistent identifiers?

For the moment, Google’s language suggests that in the absence of the ADID, other persistent identifiers will be allowed for targeting and various advertising purposes. In these cases, the user must be presented with a privacy policy and the data must be handled in accordance with the Google Play Developer Distribution Agreement.  

This means that unlike the ATT framework, which bundled additional limits on advertising measurement and targeting with user opt-out, Google is still open to the use of alternatives. This will mitigate the overall negative impact to advertisers. 

How will this change impact advertising measurement/attribution on Android?

Currently, the average ad personalization opt-out rates on Android hover right around 5%. That rate is not expected to change with this update particularly given the prompt’s location within the Android device settings menu is not expected to change at this time. This means the ADID will still be available on a majority of Android traffic for deterministic attribution. In cases where users opt-out, referrer-based deterministic attribution can still be accomplished using the install_gclid (Google Click ID). This is fully incorporated into the Kochava attribution waterfall and is weighted equally to a device-level match. Additionally, Android will continue to allow probabilistic attribution, which can be highly accurate with tightened attribution lookback windows. Kochava configurable attribution offers 60X granularity, with the ability to scale lookback windows down to the minute, as opposed to other tools that cap granularity at 60 minutes/1 hour.

What will Google do next?

What’s clear is that Google has left the door open to rollout future restrictions. Note the snapshot from their Help Center below. 

Android persistent identifiers

Kochava will keep a close eye on future updates and continue to evolve our privacy-first attribution to meet the needs of marketers.

For more information or questions about measurement and attribution on Android, contact us

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