Varos Glossary

GAID (Google Advertising ID)

What is GAID (Google Advertising ID)

A Google Advertising ID (GAID), also known as an Android ID or Android Advertising ID, is code that allows both developers and marketers to track user behavior, measure campaign performance, and deliver targeted, personalized ads while maintaining user privacy. Taking the form of a device-specific identifier, the GAID allows users to opt out of personalized ads or reset their advertising data at any time. 

The GAID was originally introduced as an Android-based equivalent to Apple's Unique Device Identifier, which was later replaced with the Apple Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA). When Apple officially announced plans to retire IDFA with the launch of iOS14 in 2022, many believed that Google would soon follow suit.

Those beliefs were validated when, later that year, the company announced a new initiative known as the Privacy Sandbox.

What's the Difference Between GAID and the Privacy Sandbox?

The Privacy Sandbox is effectively a replacement for GAID. On Android, it will introduce alternatives to Google's Advertising ID while also limiting data sharing with third-party publishers. Per Google, the Privacy Sandbox was established with three overarching goals in mind:

  • Build new, privacy-focused technology that will make current web tracking tools obsolete and block covert tracking. 
  • Empower publishers and developers with the information they require to serve relevant content and advertisements. 
  • Collaborate with publishers, advertisers, and developers to build a new set of Internet privacy standards.

On its Privacy Sandbox for Android Page, Google asserts that it intends to replicate much of the core functionality of GAID through tools such as its Attribution Reporting API and Protected Audience API. It also acknowledges that while it does eventually intend to deprecate GAID, it does not plan to make any substantial changes until at least 2024. 

When Will Google Retire the GAID?

With the impending retirement of GAID, the capacity to track revenue and advertising benchmarks across mobile devices will be more important than ever.

At the moment, there is no concrete date for the retirement of the GAID, save for sometime in 2024. Google has made clear that it will provide "substantial notice" ahead of any future changes, ensuring advertisers can adequately prepare for the shift. In the meantime, the company has invited application publishers, application developers, advertising technology firms, and advertisers to collaborate on the development of the Privacy Sandbox.

Users can give feedback on design proposals to the sandbox at

It's important to note that while the GAID still exists, Google has introduced another new identifier known as AppSetID. This identifier is meant to be used exclusively for fraud detection and analytics, and cannot be used for advertising in any capacity. The AppSetID also automatically resets itself when a publisher's applications are uninstalled from a device, and expires if a user doesn't access a publisher's applications in 13 months. 

How To Get Your GAID

Users can find their Google Advertising ID by taking the following steps:

  1. Access the Settings app on your Android device.
  2. Tap on Google under the Personal subhead. 
  3. Tap on Ads under Services. 
  4. The next screen will display your GAID along with several options. From here, you can: 
  • Reset your advertising ID.
  • Opt out of personalization.
  • Enable debug logging for ads. 
  • Delete your advertising ID.

For advertisers, there are a few things to know about the current state of GAID:

  • You can still leverage the GAID of users who've opted in and granted the necessary permissions for advertising and marketing purposes. 
  • You can still access the GAID of users who've opted out for limited use cases like fraud prevention and analytics, meaning it will serve a similar function to AppSetID.  
  • Any attempts to replicate the functionality of GAID with your own persistent identifier may result in a policy violation warning.