Google launches browser-based Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) tracking mechanism, which it introduced as a replacement for the outgoing third-party cookies.
Google, one of the most powerful corporations in the online advertising business, is trying to change the way things are done. In its Chrome web browser, Google can join Safari and Firefox in banning third-party cookies.
Unlike Safari and Firefox, which have already begun disabling them by default, Google will take a more gradual approach, gradually implementing a new range of technological solutions that it has developed.
FLOC (A Federated Learning Of Cohorts) is a new framework developed by the company that will allow “interest-based ads on the web” without revealing your identification to advertisers.
FLOC would aim to make its users semi-anonymous by affiliating them with a “cohort,” a community of users big enough to make them anonymous to companies targeting them, according to Google.
The Chrome browser can use algorithms to group people into cohorts based on their characteristics and interests. Each user’s personal browsing history will be kept private and never shared with anyone, however the browser will examine it and allocate a user to one of the cohorts.
As a result, rather than advertisers collecting your browsing history to build an individual profile of you on their servers, Google will do the tracking by having the browser serve a list of user preferences to advertisers through an API if they ask, ensuring that users receive relevant advertising.
Many people suspect, however, that the whole scheme is founded on a “false assumption” and that it is just a way for Google to demonstrate its dominance and seize power.
This may appear to be a new safe way for Google to ‘safeguard’ its users, but given that Google is one of the most prominent players in data collection, many users doubt that this move will make their browsing more secure.