Google’s new privacy-friendly plan FLoC likely to replace cookies

Nwachukwu Glory  - Tech Expert
Last updated: November 15, 2023
Google privacy-friendly cookies FLoC
  • Google is reportedly about to find the perfect alternative for Chrome’s cookies.
  • Chrome’s new privacy plans have shown promising results during trials.
  • The tech giant claims that FLoCs can provide 95% of the conversions to advertisers for each dollar spent against cookie-based advertising.

Google is working on its latest privacy system to replace its current cookies-based ads network on its Chrome browser. The company has already announced the plan to phase-out support for third-party cookies in the next two years.

Google revealed that its alternative privacy system had shown ‘practical’ results during recent trials. Chrome’s technology is focused on executing a new Advertising Application Programming Interface to replace cookies.

The internet giant is currently working on different APIs for a replacement of cookies, which includes Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) and FLEDGE—to name a few.

The change in online advertising software, cookies, will limit the number of ads shown to a particular user. This means that through new software, Google will show selective and desired ads to a user.

Whereas cookies are third-party data collected indirectly from users’ browsers. That data is then further sold out to advertising agencies and other companies.

Notably, that data is also sold out in the dark web, and hackers as well. This has been a big privacy concern for some years now and continues to increase every year. So, seemingly, Google’s new online ad policy will strengthen the privacy of an individual user.

The big change

This is going to be big as the internet deity designs a new way to pass user’s information to third-party firms. For decades, cookies have been the primary source for online digital agencies to keep their business running. But the increasing privacy concerns have changed things around.

Cookies are not just software; it’s an entire digital advertising ecosystem reportedly valued at around $330 billion. So, changing cookies with a new network is going to be an enormous challenge for Google.

Google has named its new Chrome system ‘Privacy Sandbox.’ The company is testing two different ways as a replacement for cookies. Google’s main focus is on its FloCs, which is a new API based on Chrome’s extension.

FLoC works through machine learning algorithms to assign a user to a cohort as per their interest. This means that it does not share the general data collected from the browser. Rather, a cohort that accompanies thousands of user’s data is shared, which is then used to target ads.

Google said that FLoC showed positive results that could help advertisers to see approximately 95% of user conversions per dollar spent on ads.

Google has also proposed another API in place of cookies named FLEDGE. This API uses a ‘trusted server’ to store information about ads that help visitors visit the sites.

Google is fully dedicated to replacing cookies and setting up a new browser privacy model. The company has been working on this for some years now. And, the time has arrived to enter the last phase–making the new ecosystem practical.

Google has named its new advertising privacy initiative as Privacy Sandbox. There are several other APIs that are under consideration. FLoC remains the priority, but we can’t be sure for now.

Will Google be able to adopt a new advertising network?

Google is very much focused to bring the new ecosystem against its famous cookies network. However, there are some hurdles along the way. The digital advertising industry would have an immense impact with the replacement of cookies—negatively influencing the online ads business.

In recent times, Google has already taken serious steps to restrict the online advertising business’s unlimited independence. The privacy concerns are the major reason for this—as Google takes strict actions. However, it’s not only about privacy. If Google adopts Privacy Sandbox, it would massively devastate the entire digital ads market.

In that premise, the UK’s anti-competitive regulator, Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), has taken notice against Google’s new Chrome policy. The UK watchdog will look over the entire network Google is designing to ensure that it doesn’t break any corporate competitive law.

If Google gets clearance from the CMA, things will get more manageable for the tech giant to apply its new privacy-friendly ‘Privacy Sandbox.’

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About the Author

Nwachukwu Glory

Nwachukwu Glory

Tech Expert

Nwachukwu Glory is a writer, blogger, and tech nerd. She loves trying new gadgets that make life more fun ( and easier). Glory is passionate about digital security and privacy alongside browsing the World Wide Web without any limitations.

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