How to Disable Targeted Ad Tracking on Android

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Here are tips and tricks on how to disable ad tracking on Android so that it no longer has targeted ads.
ColorOS is one of the best Android overlays. // Source: Louise Audry for Numerama
Android provides an Advertising ID that allows third parties to track and profile you for personalized advertising. The mobile app uses it. That's his only goal. But it is possible to moderate or stop this tracking, by changing or removing the advertising identifier.

Apple is leading the way with App Tracking Transparency. The device offers its customers better control over ad tracking and, if necessary, disables this tracking on iPhone and iPad. By doing so, the Cupertino company further consolidates its image as a privacy-conscious company. Therefore, Google had to react.

Advertising ID on Android

The net giant was in a more uncomfortable position. Its business model is very different from Apple's: it relies heavily on advertising and monetization of personal data. Therefore, all the initiatives that the Mountain View company takes in the field of secrecy are systematically marked with the seal of suspicion.
Android also provides tools to control advertising IDs. // Source: Numerama Photo
The fact remains that there are better tools to know and operate, however imperfect or limited they may be. And it turns out that Google, like Apple, offers the possibility to reduce tracking airfoils on Android. In this case, it's a question of neutralizing AAID (Android Advertising IDentifier), which is the equivalent of IDFA (IDentifier For Advertisers) on iOS.

Both AAID and IDFA are advertising identifiers. The advertising market relies on it to be able to serve personalized ads, based on what it knows about you. This identifier is just a sequence of numbers and letters whose main purpose is to be able to uniquely identify a terminal (smartphone, tablet).

It is possible to reset or delete this identifier. It will not be possible to permanently end internet advertising, or targeting. However, neutralizing this information will make it harder for you to trace. And hence, for your profiling. In short, you reduce your exposure. Given the importance of mobile, mastering these identifiers is critical.

Disable Ad Tracking on Android AAID

This guide describes the handling to follow with Pixel 6 Pro smartphones running Android 12. It is possible that certain paths and category names may change. Partly depends on the phone model or operating system version. Older Android versions may not come with a tool to disable it.
  1. Go to Android settings;
  2. Click "Privacy";
  3. Scroll down to "Announcements";
  4. You then have two options “Reset Advertising ID” or “Remove Advertising ID”;
It doesn't have the same consequences. In the first case, the old code is replaced with the new one, which will not "know" you well at first. However, in the long run, the relevance of the advertisements that will be displayed on your terminal should become clearer. Tracking and browsing conditions don't change, and apps can use them.

In the second case, we do a clean sweep. The identifier is removed and Android will not give you another one instead (it is possible to request it again).

Warning: this does not end the ad. Apps may have their own rules about this. Advertising will be essentially impersonal and therefore less relevant.

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