FLoC is no longer viable and will be replaced by Topics

In a previous article we talked on the death of the «Libra» project the cryptocurrency that Facebook was planning to introduce in its products and it is that talking about dead projects (failures) in this article I am pleased to be able to share with you a news that was released several days ago, but that I had not had the opportunity to share .

And it is that as the title says FLoC is dead (and more than one is happy with this situation), for those who are unaware of the controversial Google project, I can tell you that this was a lousy initiative by the search giant to replace cookies for interest-based advertising by grouping users into groups of users with comparable interests.

now instead, Google announced a new proposal called “Topics” in which the idea here is that your browser learns the user's interests as they browse the web (another idea that quite a lot of people dislike).

It is intended that (Topics) will retain data from the last three weeks of browsing history (bad idea) and from now on, Google will limit the number of topics to 300, with plans to expand this over time.

Google notes that these themes will not include sensitive categories such as gender or race. To determine interest Google ranks the sites you visit based on one of those 300 topics. For sites that haven't been ranked before, a lightweight machine learning algorithm in the browser will take over and provide an estimated topic based on the domain name.

Whatever goodwill Google has shown in recent years, for example in combating ad abuse and systemic user tracking, their efforts have been challenged by the solution the company has offered.

Federated Learning Cohorts or (FLoC) were promoted as a better strategy that protects people's privacy while giving advertisers something they can take advantage of. But nevertheless, privacy advocates (they did their job well) they did sound the alarm at the time about what they see as even worse technology, and Chromium-based browser makers like Brave and Vivaldi have pledged to fight FLoC in all its forms and not just them, but various big-name projects and brands.

And because many privacy advocates they were not convinced of this, they saw FLoC as a solution even worse than the problem it is trying to solve. In addition to potentially violating laws like GDPR, critics also pointed out that FLoC would collect more private data in the form of browsing history, which not even tracking cookies do.

While unique individual identities may be hidden behind cohorts, browsing history data can still be considered private, especially when it will be easy to develop profiles for members of that group.

Before it Google has made another proposal to track users and allow advertisers to make targeted ads and this is with the “Topics” API.

The new system would still remove cookies, but nwould notify advertisers of a user's areas of interest based on the last three weeks of the user's web browsing history.

Basically when visiting a site that supports the API for advertising purposes, the browser shares three topics of interest to you (one for each of the last three weeks) randomly selected from their top five topics each week. The site can then share this with its ad partners to decide which ads to show.

Ideally, this would be a more private method of deciding which ad to show and Google notes that it also gives users much more control and transparency than is currently the norm. Users will be able to view and remove topics from their lists and also disable the entire API.

Interest-based advertising (IBA) is a form of personalized advertising in which an advertisement is selected for the user based on the interests derived from the sites they have visited in the pass.

This is different from contextual advertising, which is based solely on the interest derived from the current site viewed (and advertised). One of the benefits of IBA is that it allows sites that are useful to the user, but might not be easily monetized through contextual advertising, to display ads that are more relevant to the user than they might otherwise be. which helps fund the sites. user visits.

The Topics API is intended to provide people with callers (including third-party ad technology or on-page ad providers running the script) general advertising themes in which the page visitor might currently be interested. These themes will complement the context of the current page signals and can be combined to help find suitable advertising for the visitor.

The plans for the API Google Topics have just been shared with the world, and the company says the next step is to create a test deployment and collect feedback from the internet.

Hopefully, the EFF, Mozilla, the EU, and other privacy advocates who have spoken out on the FLoC will be on board with Google's new plan.

The content of the article adheres to our principles of editorial ethics. To report an error click here!.

A comment, leave yours

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.



  1. Responsible for the data: Miguel Ángel Gatón
  2. Purpose of the data: Control SPAM, comment management.
  3. Legitimation: Your consent
  4. Communication of the data: The data will not be communicated to third parties except by legal obligation.
  5. Data storage: Database hosted by Occentus Networks (EU)
  6. Rights: At any time you can limit, recover and delete your information.

  1.   dimixisDEMZ said

    I feel so happy to be a Vivaldi user.