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Google is testing its alternative to third-party cookies

Google

Google is launching a developer trial version of its joint learning joint technology (also known as FLoC, or Death Itself in the world of third-party cookies). FLoC replaces third-party cookies, which collect data based on the behavior of groups of Internet users (called cohorts) to generate relevant online advertisements instead of tracking individual browsing history.

Marshall Vale, Google’s privacy sandbox product manager, wrote: “With FLoC, your browser can determine which group is closest to your recent web browsing history, thus grouping you with other people with similar browsing history.”

“The identification number of this queue is the only information provided when requested by the website. This is different from third-party cookies, which allow companies to follow you separately on different sites.”

Google
Google

Google is testing its alternative to cookies to track web browsing

Google also stated that the Chrome browser will not create groups that it considers sensitive. Therefore, before the cohort is qualified, Chrome will analyze whether the cohort is visiting pages with sensitive topics, such as medical websites or websites with political or religious content.

The trial version is suitable for a small number of users in Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines, and the United States. Anyone who blocks third-party cookies in the current version of Chrome will not be able to access the initial test.

This is all about Google’s plan to eliminate third-party cookies in Chrome and stop selling ads based on single network activity. Advertising sales are the foundation of the Google empire and the subject of multiple antitrust lawsuits against the company.

Earlier this month, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton updated the multi-state lawsuit against Google to resolve the new FLoC system, arguing that it did not eliminate the antitrust issue at the heart of the complaint.

A total of 15 states have joined this special lawsuit, and the Department of Justice may also exert influence on this. British regulators are also investigating Google’s new tracking system, worrying that it may further concentrate data and advertising revenue in Google’s safe deposit box.

To review this, Google has been publicly taking advantage of FLoC’s privacy without mentioning the potential power imbalance built into the system.

Google said in mid-March: “We are working with the industry through Privacy Sandbox to provide support for privacy-protecting third-party cookie alternatives that support a free and open Internet.” “And as we have already said. , We will not use other methods to replace third-party cookies to track individuals on the web.”

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What is FLoC?

  • You are a member of the crowd: FLoC allows you to remain anonymous when browsing across sites, and it also allows publishers to display relevant advertisements to large groups (called cohorts), thereby improving privacy. Cohorts are defined by the similarity of browsing history, but they are not based on your personal identity. In fact, as your browsing history changes, you don’t change which group often. Of course, when you want a personal experience, you can still log in to the website and share the personal information you choose.
  • Chrome does not create groups that it considers sensitive: Before the queue is eligible, Chrome will analyze it to see if the queue is visiting pages with sensitive topics, such as medical websites or websites with political or religious content. If so, Chrome will ensure that the cohort is not used without knowing the sensitive topics of interest to the user. Of course, the website can also choose not to use FLoC, which means that the browser will not include the visit to the website when determining the cohort.
  • FLoC will not share your browsing history with Google or anyone: With FLoC, your browser can determine which group is closest to your recent web browsing history, combining you with thousands of other people with similar browsing history. The identification number of the queue is the only information provided when requested by the site. This is different from third-party cookies, which allow companies to follow you separately on different sites. FLoC can run on your device without sharing your browsing history. The important thing is that everyone in the advertising ecosystem, including Google’s own advertising products, will have the same access to FLoC.
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