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Google is planning privacy change similar to Apple's, which wiped $230 billion off Facebook's market cap

Google is planning privacy change similar to Apples

February 18, 2022: -On Wednesday, Google announced its adopting new privacy restrictions that will cut tracking across apps on its Android devices, after following a similar move made by Apple in the previous year that upended several firms’ advertising practices.

Google said it is developing new privacy-focused replacements for its advertising ID, a unique string of characters that identifies the user’s device. The digital IDs in smartphones help ad-tech companies track and share information about consumers.

The changes could affect big companies that have tracked users across apps, like Facebook parent Meta. Apple’s adjustments hit Meta particularly hard, for instance. Meta said that Apple’s privacy changes would decrease the social media company’s sales this year by about $10 billion. That news contributed wipes $232 billion from the company’s market cap in a single day, which pushes the total below $600 billion. In the previous June, Meta was worth over $1 trillion.

But while Meta fought against Apple’s changes, it voiced support for how Google plans to implement its privacy tweaks.

″[It is] encouraging to see this long-term, collaborative approach to privacy-protective personalized advertising from Google,” Graham Mudd, vice president of product marketing, ads, and business at Facebook, said on Twitter. “We look forward to continued work with them and the industry on privacy-enhancing tech through industry groups,” Graham added.

Google says that it will continue to support the current identifiers for the coming two years, which means different companies have time to implement changes.

Facebook and other companies criticized Apple for rolling out its App Tracking Transparency feature, reducing targeting capabilities by limiting advertisers from accessing an iPhone user identifier. With that change, users were given a pop-up window to block apps from tracking their data for advertising purposes.

Google is criticizing Apple’s approach in its blog post without naming the company.

″​​We realize that other platforms have taken a different approach to ads privacy, bluntly restricting the existing technologies used by developers and advertisers,” Google Android vice president of product management, security, and privacy, Anthony Chavez, wrote in the post. “We believe that without first providing a privacy-preserving alternative path, like approaches can be ineffective and lead to worse outcomes for user privacy and developer businesses.”

Focusing on privacy practices could help the tech giant get ahead of regulatory issues as lawmakers and consumers become aware and concerned about their data. The company said that it would work closely with regulators.

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