Third-party cookies is the backbone technology in Google's ad business(Photo:Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash)

Google is testing third-party cookie alternatives, crucial to its ad business

Google is experimenting with a new advertising technology called FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts) to replace controversial third-party cookies.

Third-party cookies have always been the backbone technology for collecting user data and pinpoint advertising in Google’s ad business.

If you don’t know what third-party cookies technology is, simply put, third-party cookies is an information collection method created by third parties (such as Google), other than the websites visited by users. Cookies are normally very tiny data and they are mainly used to track website users’ browsing interests and behaviors.

Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash

Google said the new FLoC technology will use Chrome browser to analyze users’ browsing history and categorize them into groups with similar browsing interests and habits.

“Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) proposes a new way for businesses to reach people with relevant content and ads by clustering large groups of people with similar interests. ” Chetna Bindra, group product manager, user trust and privacy at Google, said.

The biggest difference between FLoC and third-party cookies is that FLOC technology labels individual users as a member of a certain group, instead of profiling each individual user.

Chetna Bindra continued, “…This approach effectively hides individuals ‘in the crowd’ and uses on-device processing to keep a person’s web history private on the browser. ”

For ordinary users, the most recent impression of cookies may come from the prompt of “Confirm the use of cookies…” reminders on websites, which have become pretty common.

Those cookie reminders are the results of the law of CPRA and other new regulations, that force Internet companies to provide more privacy protection to users.

However, while privacy is protected, the pop-ups are also annoying for web suffers. The whole cookie crisis makes Google have no choice but to take measures to avoid collecting too much of users’ personal information.

Besides Google, other companies such as Apple are also actively experimenting with other new ways to collect web users’ data.

Categories: Internet, Science & Technology

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