Advertising ID

Starting in late 2021, when a user opts out of interest-based advertising or ads personalisation, the advertising identifier will not be available. You will receive a string of zeros in place of the identifier.

The advertising ID is a unique, user-resettable ID for advertising, provided by Google Play services. It gives users better controls and provides developers with a simple, standard system to continue to monetise their apps. It enables users to reset their identifier or opt out of personalised ads (formerly known as interest-based ads) within Google Play apps.

Google Play services update in 2021

As part of the Google Play services update in late 2021, the advertising ID will be removed when a user opts out of personalisation using advertising ID in Android settings. Any attempts to access the identifier will receive a string of zeros instead of the identifier. To help developers and ad/analytics service providers with regulatory compliance efforts, and respect user choice, they will be able to receive notifications for opt-out preferences. If you want to test the aforementioned notification system, fill in this form.

This Google Play services phased rollout will affect apps starting in late 2021 and will expand to affect apps running on all devices that support Google Play in early 2022. For essential non-ads use cases such as analytics and fraud prevention, use App set ID.

Additionally, apps updating their target API level to 31 (Android 12) will need to declare a Google Play services normal permission in the manifest file as follows:

<uses-permission android:name="com.google.android.gms.permission.AD_ID"/>

Some SDKs, such as the Google Mobile Ads SDK (Play Services-ads) may already declare this permission in the SDK’s library manifest. If your app uses these SDKs as dependencies, the AD_ID permission from the SDK’s library manifest will be merged with your app’s main manifest by default, even if you don’t explicitly declare the permission in your app’s main manifest. Learn more about merging manifest files on the Android developers site.

Some Google Play policies, such as the Families policy, require that apps do not use the ad ID. If your app uses SDKs, like the Google Mobile Ads SDK that declares the AD_ID permission in their library manifests, you must prevent the permission from getting merged into your app by including the following element in your manifest.

<uses-permission android:name="com.google.android.gms.permission.AD_ID" tools:node="remove"/>

This permission will be enforced starting from early 2022 for all devices. See API documentation for more details.

Learn more about best practices for unique identifiers.

Implement advertising ID

To implement advertising ID in your apps, you can use the Advertising ID API.

Policy requirements

The Google Play Developer Programme Policy requires that all updates and new apps uploaded to Google Play use the advertising ID (when available on a device) in place of any other device identifiers for any advertising purposes. You're responsible for ensuring that your apps are in compliance with policies regarding its usage, as well as all Play policies.

Apps using a persistent ID other than the advertising ID may receive a policy violation warning via the publisher site or the email address used to register the account. If you receive a warning, you should ensure that any published APKs comply with the advertising ID related guidance in the Developer Programme Policy. If you are using a third-party ad SDK, please contact the SDK maker to obtain a new version that complies with this new policy.

Additional details

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Persistent identifiers, including Android ID

Availability

Persistent identifiers are still available because there are various supported use cases which aren’t related to advertising. Longer term, we’ll evaluate additional opportunities to provide users with even more informed control over what persistent identifiers are provided to third parties. We’ll communicate this prominently and in advance when we have details.

Use for non-advertising purposes

You can use persistent identifiers as long as you have a privacy policy and handle the data in accordance with the Developer Distribution Agreement and all applicable privacy laws in the areas where you make your app available.

Targeting devices without an advertising ID

When an advertising ID isn’t present, your app may fall back to using a persistent or proprietary identifier, as long as you:

Advertising ID violations

Please verify if the apps in your catalogue comply with the advertising ID policy guidance. You will be notified of potential non-compliance via an alert notification in Play Console or email warnings sent to the email address that registered the developer account.

If you have additional questions, you can find out more about advertising ID policy violations.

How to opt out of personalised ads
  1. Open your device's settings app Settings app > Google or open the the Google settings app Google Settings (differs depending on your device).
  2. Under 'Services', select Ads.
  3. Turn on 'Opt out of ads personalisation' by moving the switch to the right until it turns blue.

Note: If you clear your cache, you'll lose your opt-out setting.

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