FLoC will also not share users browsing data with Google or any other advertiser. The cohort is identified by a special number (FLoC ID) that is the only thing shared when requested by a website. Chrome will also not share cohorts that it deems sensitive. So, if users of a cohort are accessing websites with sensitive content such as religious or political content at a high rate, FLoC will not share such data with the advertisers.
The search giant will also allow users to voluntarily opt-in to the FLoC trials, similar to any other Privacy Sandbox trials. Google also notes that its own advertising spaces will get the same access to FLoC IDs as third-party advertisers. A report on Google’s blog in January this year details how through the FLoC system “advertisers can expect to see at least 95 percent of the conversions of the dollars spent when compared to cookie-based advertising.” In January 2020, Google announced it will phase out third-party Web tracking for cookies on its Chrome browser. Safari announced in March 2020 that the browser will soon block third-party cookies through its Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) system. Firefox also followed suit by cracking down on supercookies after its Firefox 85 update was announced in January 2021.
Most browsers, barring Chrome, have completely blocked ads or third-party cookies. Chrome is instead looking for ways to make users a little less vulnerable to cookies with FLoC. Google can’t completely block cookies on its browser as it is the main source of revenue for the company. Google holds majority of the market share by way of Chrome in the browser spectrum and Google Ad Sense in the advertising spectru. FLoC may just become a standard for preventing third-party cookies in the future.
Ealier this year, Google’s plan for blocking cookies was met with concerns from the US Justice Department. The plan may upend many smaller rivals with the loss of the data-gathering tool.