Google replaces FLoC with Topics, recognising growing criticism

Google replaces FLoC with Topics, recognising growing criticism
Cookies vs Topics

Google today announced the death of the FLoC, a proposal part of the Privacy Sandbox, an initiative to eliminate cookies in Chrome until the year 2022. FLoC enables advertisers to do interest-based targeting.

With FLoC, Google was able to achieve 95% of the conversions per dollar spent, but the solution had growing criticism, and it was doomed to fail.

To replace FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts), Google today announced Topics, a new Privacy Sandbox proposal.

According to Google, with Topics the browser determines a handful of topics, like “Fitness” or “Travel & Transportation,” that represent the top interests for that week based on the browsing history.

Google’s proposal is that Topics are kept for three weeks and old topics are deleted.

Topics are selected entirely on each device without involving any external servers, including Google servers. When a user visits a participating site, Topics picks three topics, one topic from each of the past three weeks, to share with the site and its advertising partners.

Google explains Topics enables browsers to give users transparency and control over this data. In Chrome, Google is building user controls that let users see the topics, remove any they don’t like or disable the feature.

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