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Google might add anti-tracking features to Android #Englishheadline

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A week after Apple announced an important new iOS privacy feature, Bloomberg reports Google is looking into doing something similar. 

Bloomberg’s sources claim Google is looking into limiting data collection by third-party apps on Android, but doing it in a way that’s less rigorous for developers. 

Apple’s solution to rampant user tracking for the purpose of serving ads is called App Tracking Transparency, and it boils down to a prompt asking the user to explicitly approve a third-party app’s data collection. 

Bloomberg says Google’s solution might not have an opt-in prompt like that. Instead, it could be similar to what Google did with Chrome. It announced in 2020 that it would phase out third-party cookies in the browser within two years, giving developers a lot of time to adapt. Bloomberg also mentioned the Privacy Sandbox — Google’s project to combat cross-site tracking and replace it with more privacy-conscious methods — as a possible model for Android. 

Apple initially wanted to introduce App Tracking Transparency in September 2020, but it postponed to “early spring” to give developers more time to prepare. The move irked some app developers, most notably Facebook, which published a full-page newspaper ad protesting the new feature. 

Google gave Bloomberg a canned statement saying it’s “always looking for ways to work with developers to raise the bar on privacy.” There’s no word on when Google might introduce this new feature, and the report says the feature is still in early stage and Google might give up on it entirely. 

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