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DuckDuckGo, Brave and Vivaldi announced that they will disable Google’s new “Cookies”

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Google recently started testing a “source test” in Chrome with a new piece of web technology called Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC), which is replacing third-party cookies. In response, DuckDuckGo, Brave and Vivaldi announced that they will disable Google’s FLoC, calling it a “step in the wrong direction”.

Basically, Google’s FLoC replaces third-party cookies by grouping Chrome users based on their interests and demographics. Google says it is a better alternative to third-party cookies, but privacy advocates disagree – as do DuckDuckGo, Brave and Vivaldi. The disagreement seems to focus on the fact that Google is not obtaining consent before tracking users.

All three published blog posts openly fighting FLoC, with DuckDuckGo launching a Chrome extension that will block FLoC tracking. DuckDuckGo explains some of the privacy concerns about FLoC on his blog:

“With FLoC, simply by browsing the web, you are automatically placed in a group based on your browsing history (“ cohort ”). The sites you visit will be able to immediately access this FLoC ID group and use it to target ads or content to you. It’s like entering a store where they already know everything about you! In addition, although FLoC is considered more private because it is a group, combined with its IP address (which is also automatically sent to websites), you can easily continue to be tracked as an individual. ”

DuckDuckGo Brave and Vivaldi announced that they will disable Googles

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Brave, for his part, said that he is strongly opposed to FLoC and any resource designed to share information about users and their interests without first obtaining consent. Brave said in response to Google practices, it removed FLoC from the Nightly version of Brave for desktop and Android.

Brave expressed his discontent with Google’s methods:

“It is disappointing to see Google, instead of taking advantage of the current opportunity to help design and build a Web that prioritizes the user and privacy, proposing and immediately sending in Chrome a set of minor changes that conserve advertising technology, which prioritize explicitly maintaining the structure of the web advertising ecosystem as Google sees it. ”

Vivaldi also said that he will not support Google’s FLoC, calling his new data collection venture “unpleasant” and saying that “it harms user privacy”. The browser manufacturer said it will not support FLoC because it is simply a disguised feature that prioritizes privacy.

“Google will continue to build profiles and track users, in the absence of third-party cookies and localStorage,” said Vivaldi in a blog post. “It introduces FLoC as part of a set of so-called ‘privacy’ technology, but we are going to remove the pretense here; FLoC is an invasive privacy tracking technology. “

Privacy advocates argue that FLoC will expose its data more than ever, and not protect it, with Vivaldi claiming that FLoC has “serious implications for society as a whole.

If you’re concerned about Google’s FLoC, the easiest thing is to avoid Chrome altogether. Instead, you can use Brave or Vivaldi, or you can use the DuckDuckGo Chrome extension or DuckDuckGo Search, which has been configured to cancel FLoC.

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