Chrome: This site warns you if Google is spying on you

    Google is currently testing a new ad tracking system on Chrome. Initially, only a part of Internet users are targeted. To find out if you are one of the users affected by the alternative to third-party cookies, simply visit the website launched by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

    Early 2021, Google announced the end of third-party cookies on Chrome. By the end of the year, the Mountain View giant wishes obsolete tracking cookies mainly issued by ad servers. Obviously, Google says it wants to improve the protection of consumers' personal data on Chrome.

    But not surprisingly, Google does not want to give up online advertising. To compensate the gradual disappearance of third-party cookies, the Californian group has developed FLoC technology (Federated Learning of Cohorts or “federated learning of cohorts” in French).

    Google activates FLoC technology on Chrome despite criticism

    Designed to be more privacy-friendly, the FLoC ad targeting model is based on the use of user cohorts. Concretely, the advertisements displayed online will no longer be based on third-party cookies but on the cohort of which a user belongs. Thanks to this new approach, Google prevents advertisers from individually targeting Internet users, which is obviously a plus for privacy.

    Best of all, FLoC technology offers a return on investment similar to that of third-party cookies, Google advances. “NWe believe that blocking third-party cookies without viable alternatives for the ecosystem is irresponsible and harmful to the free and open web that we all love ” argues Marshall Vale, the manager of Privacy Sandbox, these new web technologies aimed at transmitting advertising data to advertisers while respecting their privacy.

    Unfortunately, Google's promises failed to convince everyone. This is particularly the case of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an international NGO for the protection of freedoms on the Internet. The NGO ensures that the google project is a terrible idea : “The technology will avoid the privacy risks of third-party cookies, but will create new ones in the process. It can also exacerbate many of the worst privacy invasion problems associated with behavioral advertising, including discrimination and predatory targeting ”.

    We strongly reject the future of FLoC. It's not the world we want or the one users deserve. Google needs to learn from the era of third-party cookie tracking and develop its browser to work for users, not advertisers ” urges the Electronic Frontier Foundation in a statement on its website. The American NGO claims that “The cohort of a user will necessarily reveal information about his behavior” to advertisers.

    A few weeks ago, Google nevertheless enabled FLoC ad targeting from a handful of users. This first phase of experimentation concerns Chrome users residing in several countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines and the United States. -United. The search giant should soon be testing its alternative solution in Europe.

    How do you know if Google has FLoC targeting enabled on your browser?

    Determined to oppose the deployment of FLoC, the Electronic Frontier Foundation recently put online a website to find out if you are one of the first users the alternative to third-party cookies. Entitled “Am I FLoCed?”, the site reveals in a few moments if you are concerned by the first phase of experimentation.

    The NGO regrets that Google is deploying its alternative “From millions of Chrome users without warning and without obtaining consent”. In the event that your browser is part of the trial, Electronic Frontier Foundation recommends deactivating Floc. To do this, it is necessary to block third-party cookies in Chrome by following the maneuver below:

    • Go to the menu Settings by Chrome
    • Click on Privacy and Security
    • Go to Cookies and other site data
    • Choose Block third-party cookies

    According to Google, only 0.5% of Chrome users are part of the trial. “The original FLoC trial only affects Google Chrome versions 89 and above” specifies the website of the NGO. If you are using a version older than Chrome 89, you are not affected. What do you think of Google's practices? We await your opinion in the comments below.

    Source: Application Android – PhonAndroid by
    The article has been translated based on the content of Application Android – PhonAndroid by
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