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Google’s new ad tracking tech to be blocked by WordPress

Google’s new ad tracking tech to be blocked by WordPress.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

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WordPress, an open-source content management system, said it will block Google’s new ad tracking technology as the company sees it as a security concern.

Google’s Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) is a new ad tracking feature that will replace third-party cookies. Google started testing the feature recently; it uses an algorithm to place people with similar browsing histories in a group for target advertising.

Google has not rolled out the feature completely yet, however, a number of browsers including DuckDuckGo, Brave, Vivaldi and Mozilla have opted out of FLoC.

WordPress, that powers about 41% of the web, has released four lines of code that can help developers block FLoC for their websites.

For users who want to opt into FLoC, they will be able to do so themselves. Besides, with few more lines of code, WordPress versions that support privacy settings can have an on-off toggle to enable websites to opt in for Floc.

“While it is indeed unusual to treat a new “feature” this way, there is precedent in that something that was not strictly a security vulnerability in comments was back-ported to previous versions for the good of the community as a whole,” WordPress said in a blog post.

It also mentioned a post by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, that Google’s FLoC a terrible idea. It further said that placing people in groups based on their browsing habits is likely to facilitate employment, housing and other types of discrimination, as well as predatory targeting of unsophisticated consumers.

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Printable version | May 11, 2021 6:52:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/googles-new-ad-tracking-tech-to-be-blocked-by-wordpress/article34356730.ece

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