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Google Drops FLoC and Introduces Topics API to Replace Tracking Cookies for Ads

Google Drops FLoC and Introduces Topics API to Replace Tracking Cookies for Ads

January 25, 2022Ravie Lakshmanan
Google on Tuesday announced that it is abandoning its controversial plans for replacing third-party cookies in favor of a new Privacy Sandbox proposal called  Topics , which categorizes users' browsing habits into approximately 350 topics. The new mechanism , which takes the place of  FLoC  (short for Federated Learning of Cohorts), slots users' browsing history for a given week into a handful of top pre-designated interests (i.e., topics), which are retained only on the device for a revolving period of three weeks. Subsequently, when a user visits a participating site, the Topics API selects three of the interests — one topic from each of the past three weeks — to share with the site and its advertising partners. To give more control over the framework, users can not only see the topics but also remove topics or disable it altogether. By labeling each website with a recognizable, high-level topic and sharing the most frequent topics associated with the browsing history,
Google Extends Support for Tracking Party Cookies Until 2023

Google Extends Support for Tracking Party Cookies Until 2023

June 25, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Google's sweeping proposal to deprecate third-party cookies in Chrome browser is going back to the drawing board after the company announced plans to delay the rollout from early 2022 to late 2023, pushing back the project by nearly two years. "While there's  considerable progress  with this initiative, it's become clear that more time is needed across the ecosystem to get this right," Chrome's Privacy Engineering Director, Vinay Goel,  said  Thursday. In buying extra time, the search giant said it hopes to arrive at a consensus on the right solutions, while simultaneously engaging with regulators, and enabling publishers and the advertising industry to migrate their services to privacy-preserving technologies that prevent "alternative forms of individual tracking, and discourage the rise of covert approaches like  fingerprinting ." The revised timelines comes close on the heels of a fresh regulatory setback in the European Union, after the Euro
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