Google might finally pull the plug on the annoying cookies we’ve been greeted with every time we accessed a website. What will replace them, though?
A new system perfected by Google. So, don’t rejoice yet: the absence of cookies doesn’t mean we’ll suddenly become untrackable by advertisers.
The new API that will replace website cookies and the traditional way our data used to be collected is called Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC). This system uses machine learning to analyze user behavior and to gather users in groups depending on the sites they visit.
Instead of user-based advertising, Google proposes interest-based advertising
What happens afterwards? Instead of sharing the data gathered locally, the FLoC Chrome extension shares only the data about the group(s) where users with common interests have been gathered.
“This approach effectively hides individuals “in the crowd” and uses on-device processing to keep a person’s web history private on the browser.”, explained Chetna Bindra, Group Product Manager, User Trust and Privacy at Google in a post.
While users can only be happy about this change in advertising practices – although it’s a far cry from the private browser navigating implemented by others -, how will advertisers receive the news?
Bindra hopes to put worries to rest: “[…] advertisers can expect to see at least 95% of the conversions per dollar spent when compared to cookie-based advertising. The specific result depends on the strength of the clustering algorithm that FLoC uses and the type of audience being reached.”