Privacy

How To Opt-out From FLoC Test? Check Whether Your Browser Is Being Tested By Google

Any website uses cookies. These are small objects that consist information. When we visit a website, the latter sends the cookie to our computer. Our computer stores it in a file located inside the web browser. This allows the websites to track our visits and activity. In many aspects, cookies are not bad. But they collect information about us, and this is worrisome. It’s been a common practice before 2018. But in this year, EU released a full set of regulations that require a website to ask users whether they accept the cookies. Since this date, we have been seeing pop-up windows asking us to accept cookies.

As you understand, cookies are closely related to web browsers. And as Google’s Chrome is the most used browser on the planet, it’s logical to think Chrome has a concrete approach to cookies. But this is going to change in the nearest future.

What Is Google Chrome’s FLoC?

Google has already announced it is testing a new technology in the Chrome browser dubbed FLoC (aka Federated Learning of Cohorts). The latter is going to improve the anonymity of users. In fact, in a special post, Google announced that it will stop allowing advertisers to track users online with third-party cookies. As for Chrome, it will do this via FLoC. But at the same time, the browser will still be collecting some users’ browsing data for advertising purposes. But what makes many people snarl is that though Google said it’s testing FLoC, it didn’t say how to pass up the testing.

Note: if you wish to know whether Google is testing FLoC on your browser, just head to https://amifloced.org. This website offers a button that will check and show whether your browsers is being tested.

Actually, the third-party cookies have been the lynchpin in a shadowy, seedy, multi-billion dollar advertising-surveillance industry on the Web. This is the best description of the cookies we have ever  met. But as Electronic Frontier Foundation notes, replacing the third-party cookies with ‘new cookies’ won’t solve the problem. It may also exacerbate the existing problems.

One thing is clear as the day – the third-party cookies were one of the biggest mistakes of the Web. But what will we get now? With FLoC, users will decide what information to share with each site they choose to interact with. Plus, FLoC is going to become another way of behavioral targeting. So we must reflect on whether FLoC is going to solve the aforementioned problems.

How To Opt-out From FLoC Test?

  1. The first recommendation we can give is just stop using Google Chrome. There are tons of alternative browsers. Choose any instead.
  2. But if you do not accept the first recommendation, you can just download DuckDuckGo’s browser extension for Google Chrome. It has ‘enhanced the tracker blocking in (its) Chrome extension to also block FLoC interactions on websites.’
  3. Finally, you can disable third-party cookies from within Google Chrome. For this, open the settings (chrome://settings), click on ‘Privacy and security’, then ‘Cookies and other site date’, and then ‘Block third-party cookies’.
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