The post noted that Google had initially tried it for a short period of time and claimed that the company decided not to make this new tracking method a user choice.
Browsing platform DuckDuckGo has warned Chrome users about Google’s new tracking method. The company in a blogpost mentioned that many people will be surprised to know that they have automatically entered into Google’s new tracking method called Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC). According to the blog, FLoC is targeted at forming a group based on people’s interests and demographics that are easily fetched from browsing history. This allows the company to target unwanted, creepy advertising along with content without third-party cookies.
The post noted that Google had initially tried it for a short period of time and claimed that the company decided not to make this new tracking method a user choice. As a result, millions of users are automatically included in the scheme. “FLoC is bad for privacy: It puts you in a group based on your browsing history, and any website can get that group FLoC ID to target and fingerprint you,” read the blog.
To help customers get out of this tracking scheme, DuckDuckGo suggested people to not use Google Chrome. It said as of now, only Google Chrome has enabled FLoC and thus, it is not present in any other browser vendor. Other vendors have not even expressed an intention or interest for implementing such trackers. Since many browsers are free to download, the blog urged people to get some Google alternatives. For iOS or Android users, the company suggested that they use their own mobile browsers because they have privacy protection by default when searching and browsing.
“Change your Chrome and/or Google settings, which we recommend you do in any case if you continue to use Chrome. It seems (but Google isn’t very clear about this so we aren’t certain) that if you perform any of the following, then Google will exclude you from FLoC, at least for the time being. And as there are still many unknowns and things are changing rapidly, the effectiveness of these steps may change in future,” the blog said.
For this, the blog asked users to stay logged out of their Google account and do not sync their history data with Chrome. Infact, a sync passphrase can also be created. The blog asked people to visit Google Activity Controls where they can disable “Web & App Activity” or “Include Chrome history and activity from sites, apps, and devices that use Google services.” Users can also disable “Ad Personalization” in Google Ad Settings.