It seems you can’t escape being tracked. Whether it’s a social media platform, an app or one of your smart devices, there’s a good chance a bunch of companies knows way too much about you.
Wordle is a daily word game that has taken the world by storm, and all you need to play is a smartphone and network connection. While Wordle is free to play, you may be paying with something else besides money — your privacy. Tap or click here for tips on avoiding avoid ad trackers in Wordle.
Earlier this week, Google announced its Privacy Sandbox for Android. This lets you turn off advertising IDs, disable third-party cooking tracking and more. The Privacy Sandbox isn’t available yet, but we have ways to limit ad tracking on multiple platforms.
Here’s the backstory
Last year Apple rolled out App Tracking Transparency (ATT), which lets iPhone and iPad users specify which apps can track their online behavior:
- Go to Settings > Privacy > Tracking, and check that Allow Apps to Request to Track is switched off, which it should be by default. This will automatically deny any new app tracking requests.
- While you’re in Settings, go to Privacy and tap Location Services. From here, you can slide the toggle next to Location Services to the left to disable it. This will deny all apps from tracking your location. Or you can leave Location Services enabled and change the setting for each app individually.
Google is working on a new Privacy Sandbox for Android, which the company says “will limit sharing of user data with third parties and operate without cross-app identifiers.”
Google currently lets users remove their advertising ID when opting out of personalization using advertising ID in Android Settings. You need a device running on the Android 12 or later OS:
- Go to Settings > Privacy > Ads > Delete advertising ID.
This feature will remain in place while Google works on the Privacy Sandbox for at least the next two years. Google says the goal is to assure users that their information is protected while also providing developers and businesses with “tools to succeed on mobile.” Companies such as Snap, Duolingo and Rovio are stating their support.
As is the case for Apple users, you can start restricting advertisers from tracking you right from your Android phone, starting with your location:
- Open Settings > Location on your phone and tap App permission. You’ll see a list of apps that can access your location any time, only while it’s in use, or when you give permission.
You can also try this method:
- Touch and hold the icon for the app you want to adjust.
- Tap the Info icon and go to Permissions > Location.
- Choose from All the time, Only while using the app, Ask every time or Deny.
To opt out of personalized ads:
- Go to Settings > Google or open the the Google Settings app, depending on your device.
- Under Services, select Ads.
- Toggle on Opt out of Ads Personalization.
To help lime ad tracking on Google Chrome, you can turn Do Not Track on. Here’s how:
On your desktop computer
- On your computer, open Chrome.
- At the top right, click More > Settings.
- Click Privacy and security > Cookies and other site data.
- Turn Send a “Do not track” request with your browsing traffic on or off.
On an Android device
- On your Android device, open the Chrome app.
- To the right of the address bar, tap More > Settings.
- Tap Privacy and security.
- Tap Do Not Track.
- Turn the setting on or off.
NOTE: Do Not Track is currently not available for Apple devices.