Monday, May 17, 2021

DuckDuckGo to Block Google’s FLoC, a new method to track users

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Internet search engine DuckDuckGo has announced plans to block FLoC, Google’s latest method of tracking Chrome users’ web browsing activity.

As Google abandons the use of third-party cookies in Chrome, it is introducing a new technology known as FLoC. (Federated Learning of Cohorts).

FLoC was introduced by Google less than two weeks ago, and DuckDuckGo is already preparing to block it in its search engine and Chrome browser extension.

It was only a matter of time before DuckDuckGo put safeguards in place to combat Google’s latest tracking technology.

Google asserts Since FLoC tracks users’ activity at the community level rather than the individual level, it provides more privacy than third-party cookies.

Browsing operation with FLoC cannot be linked to a specific person. Nonetheless, it intends to obtain enough data to serve targeted advertisements.

Privacy advocates, such as DuckDuckGo, oppose all types of surveillance, even though they are less intrusive.DuckDuckGo is particularly concerned that FLoC tracking is not optional – all Chrome users explicitly opt-in.

DuckDuckGo’s Chrome browser extension is being updated to provide the ability to disable FLoC encounters on websites. The update is not yet available since it is awaiting approval from Google.

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“We’re disappointed that, despite the many publicly voiced concerns with FLoC that have not yet been addressed, Google is already forcing FLoC upon users without explicitly asking them to opt-in. We’re nevertheless committed and will continue to do our part to deliver on our vision of raising the standard of trust online,” says DuckDuckGo.

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