How to manage your Ad ID privacy on Android KitKat 4.4

Androidkitkat_logoYou use an Android device and download apps from the Play Store. If you do, then you will use a Google account. Your Google account is linked to Google Play Services. You may or may not know this but your Google account allows for ads to be delivered to your inbox as well as track you app and browser behaviour. These ads can be in a variety of formats, including text, image and video in apps that partner with Google.

Android 4.4 KitKat now does provide users with some useful new privacy functions. If you want to review your Google Ads settings you should go to Settings > Accounts > Google. You should now see your accounts listed, including the account you use for the Play Store. Below the accounts you will see Search, Location, Google+ and Ads listed under Privacy.

Tap Ads > You should now see some new options in Android 4.4 KitKat including your advertising ID as well as the ability to reset your advertising ID, which is a unique string identifier that lets ad networks and other apps anonymously identify you as the user. NOTE: Not all ad companies use the advertising ID.

It’s also worth noting that Android JellyBean 4.3 and KitKat 4.4 both default to building user profiles and or show you interest-based ads. You now have the option to opt out of interest-based ads. The profile data includes gender, age, languages, interests, advertisers campaigns you’ve blocked and opt-out settings. You have the option to edit all these options from your mobile browser:

For the ads by Google tap > Ads Settings > default browser opens > scroll down and click the link > Adjust your Ads Settings

You will now see your categories. If you currently receive ads within your mobile apps, you should see a list of categories. The only category shown for me was ‘unknown’. You also have the option to reset all your existing interests and demographics.

NOTE: Ads will though continue to be delivered to your device tailored to your interests and demographics going forwards. It can take 24 hrs for changes to take affect. It’s also worth noting that if you reset your ad preferences, you will need to do this for every Android mobile you have.

Safe surfing folks!

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