Google has already started FLoC testing in Chrome

Google Chrome

Google unveiled what was i planning to share some new findings showing the effectiveness of his proposal for federated cohort learning (FLoC), which is part of the privacy sandbox. Chrome engineers have worked with industry on a larger scale, including web standards organization W3C, on Sandbox ideas that Google and other ad tech players have come up with.

According to Google, some of these ideas are likely to be explored further, as in a Google post, its developers say that test results show FLoC to be “an effective privacy-focused proxy for third-party cookies. ». It states that advertisers can expect to see at least 95% of conversions per dollar spent compared to cookie-based advertising.

“It’s a proposal,” Chetna Bindra, group product manager for user trust and privacy at Google, said of FLoC’s progress. “This is by no means the final or only proposal to replace third-party cookies… There will be no final API that we will explore further, it will be a collection of those APIs that will allow things like interest-based advertising, as well as to measurement use cases, where it is essential to be able to ensure that advertisers can measure the effectiveness of their ads ”.

Bindra said the company was “extremely confident” about the progress made on proposals and testing thus far.

Basically FLoC would place people in groups based on similar browsing behaviors, which means that only “cohort IDs” and not individual user IDs would be used to target them. The web history and algorithm inputs would remain in the browser, and the browser would expose only one “cohort” containing thousands of people.

“We’re really finding that one of those early interest-based ad sandbox technologies is literally almost as effective as third-party cookies,” Bindra said. “There are definitely many more tests to come. We want advertisers and ad techs to get directly involved. »

Origin Trial is a Google approach to allow safe experimentation with functions for the web platform. Allows developers to test new APIs and give the web standards community feedback on usability, practicality, and efficiency before a final decision is made on API design, standardization, or activation by default. Those interested in experimenting with this API must register through a form made available by Google.

In a blog post, Marshall Vale, Product Manager, Privacy Sandbox announced that as a new piece of web technology, FLoC will debut the Origin Trial within Chrome:

“FLoC is a new approach to interest-based advertising that enhances privacy and provides publishers with the tool they need for viable advertising business models. FLoC is still in development and we hope it will evolve based on the contributions of the web community and the lessons learned from this initial test. “

Vale pointed out aspects that Google says protects user privacy:

  • FLoC allows you to remain anonymous while browsing websites and also improves privacy by allowing publishers to serve relevant ads to large groups (called cohorts).
  • FLoC does not share your browsing history with Google or anyone else. With FLoC, your browser determines which cohort most closely matches your recent web browsing history, grouping it with thousands of other people who have similar browsing histories.
  • Chrome doesn’t create groups that it deems sensitive. Before a cohort is eligible, Chrome analyzes it to see if the cohort is visiting sensitive topic pages, such as medical websites or websites with political or religious content, at a high rate.

“The initial FLoC trial is underway with a small percentage of users in Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines and the United States. If you have chosen to block third-party cookies with the current version of Chrome, you will not be included in these Origin tests. In April, we will introduce a control in Chrome settings that you can use to disable FLoC inclusion and other privacy sandbox proposals. “


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