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Google says it won't make new identifiable trackers after it phases out cookies for ads

By Liu Hongzuo - on 4 Mar 2021, 8:37am

Google says it won't make new identifiable trackers after it phases out cookies for ads

Photo by Mitchell Luo on Unsplash.

Earlier last year, Google looked towards blocking overly-intrusive browser-based Internet cookies in a bid to create a more private browsing experience. Today, Google's latest privacy blog post takes things one step further. The company will not be building any replacement trackers that identify individuals, and neither will Google support such tracking on its products.

Details are sparse as it's an industry announcement, but one can read this as Google saying no to having identifiable information shipped off to digital advertisers. To retain these advertisers, Google has begun testing ways to target relevant consumers without requiring individual tracking. One such way is to group users under FLoC, which Google said was an interest-based method with no personally identified data and capable of seeing a 95% advertising conversion rate when compared to browser cookies.

Currently, Google intends to make FLoC available for public testing so that digital advertisers can watch this space (or Google's). It helps to know that FLoC is not optional to advertisers since the API also mitigates individual tracking on Google's web products.

Why would Google go through all that trouble to block individualised tracking and then develop a different way to sell to advertisers? One possible reason could be the evolution of data and online privacy laws, which Google is no stranger to. In December last year, Google ran afoul of the French, which resulted in hundreds of millions of Euros in fines.

"Keeping the Internet open and accessible for everyone requires all of us to do more to protect privacy — and that means an end to not only third-party cookies, but also any technology used for tracking individual people as they browse the web. We remain committed to preserving a vibrant and open ecosystem where people can access a broad range of ad-supported content with confidence that their privacy and choices are respected.  We look forward to working with others in the industry on the path forward," wrote David Temkin, Director of Product Management, Ads Privacy and Trust, Google.

If you wish, you can read Google's statement in full here.

Source: Google (blog for ads and commerce)

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