Google has decided to stop the use of web cookies to track users and provide a personalized advertising experience. Instead, Google would be using Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC), a new system that respects individual privacy.
Google says that FLoC can effectively hide individual identities within crowds, addressing most privacy-based issues people have. It is also said to use on-device processing to ensure that an individual’s web history stays within the browser.
This is not the first time Google is talking about FLoC in public, though. The company had included a mention of the new system when it was talking about the ways to improve the privacy standards on the internet. In light of the fact that Google cannot stop advertising altogether, the transition to FLoC seems capable of staying off criticism.
The company says it would replace the web cookies technology using FLoC in the latter part of the year. Of course, Google Chrome would be the first to see the change, and the company has not confirmed whether it would expand the feature to other web browsers.
As said earlier, using web cookies to track users across the internet and provide a personalized advertising experience has acquired noticeable criticism in the past. Apart from the frequent lawsuits and remarks from organizations, the GDPR in the European Union countries forced Google and other tech giants to reconsider the methods.
Besides, the looming threat of Apple’s App Tracking Transparency feature is also evident in this move. Apple is all set to launch the latest version of iOS that would let users know when an app is trying to track them. In other words, apps like Google and Facebook have to stay transparent to their users regarding across-the-web tracking.
It is worth noting that Mozilla Firefox and Apple’s Safari have stopped using third-party web cookies to prevent the potential threat to privacy. Chrome is the last to join the list, although this Google-made browser handles the lion’s share of internet traffic.