A few weeks ago Google announced that it was shutting down support for third-party cookies in the Chrome browser. This step will obviously change how companies, including Google, track users online. Does that mean Google will stop following you? Of course not! Google replaces third-party cookies with something called FLoC or Federated Learning of Cohorts.
What is FLoC or Federated Learning of Cohorts?
FLoC is Google’s alternative to third-party cookies and is based on machine learning. This will allow the browser, any browser, to read anonymously how users browse and integrate them into ‘collections’. Following this, you will be offered ads based on your collection and not on your individual data. Therefore, you will still be targeted with ads but in an anonymous way.
Google claims that this will improve user privacy because this “integrated reading” takes place on the user’s device and artificial intelligence-based learning involves less user sharing than what happens with third-party cookies. If something like this is widely accepted by companies and ad services, it should “protect users” from tracking methods that are more complex than third-party cookies, such as browser fingerprints.
What browsers are opposed to?
Privately-focused browsers DuckDuckGo, Brave and Vivaldi have all warned users about FLoC and said they will block it on their end.
Why are these browsers opposed to FLC?
DuckDuckGo has stated in a statement that as a Chrome user you will be “surprised” to find that you have automatically logged in to Google’s new tracking system. “It categorizes you according to your interests and demographics, which can be found in your browsing history, enabling deceptive advertising and other targeted content other than third-party cookies,” said DuckDuckGo.
“After a short trial, Google decided not to launch this new tracking system and instead started automatically adding millions to the system. , in the end, “they added.
DuckDuckGo added that in response Google has automatically turned on FLoC, upgraded to block tracker in its Chrome extension to block all FLoC connections on websites.
Brave Software, which provides an open web browser Brave also said it would block FloC and added that it has already disabled the night version of both Brave desktop and Android. They are now planning to roll out changes to stable browser versions in the coming days.
“The worst thing about FLC is that it seriously damages users’ privacy, under the pretext that they are using it. Some already have details about the many ways in which FLoC harms privacy. We note here only three of the most dangerous aspects of FLoC and in this regard, ”Brave manager and co-founder Brendon Eich and senior privacy researcher Peter Snyder wrote in a blog post.
“Google’s way of determining whether a FLoC group is critical requires (in most cases) Google to record and compile that sensitive group in the first place! Eich.