Google Promises Greater Privacy – Ends Ad Tracking
Everyone is worried about privacy online these days.
Google is promising to make some big changes to protect people’s privacy when surfacing the web. This is in addition to its recent declaration that the Google Chrome browser would end third party tracking cookies. Now Google says that it will end Ad tracking all together.
David Temkin, Google’s Director of Product Management, Ads Privacy and Trust, stated in a blogpost that once Google has phased out third-party cookies the company promises that it, “will not build alternate identifiers to track individuals as they browse across the web, nor will we use them in our products.”
Whether we are talking about Google, Facebook or some other company, people are sick and tired of having their every move watched when they surf the web. At first, we all found it convenient when we saw ads related to items that we had just been searching for, like a new oven or bed. Then we began to wake up to the fact that the Google search engine may be free, but it collects our search histories to decide what ads to target us with.
People were even angrier when they found out that Facebook did the same thing, only in a deeper and more secretive way. Google acknowledges that 72% of people feel that almost all of what they do online is being tracked by advertisers. A study made by the Pew Research Center found that 81% of people feel that the potential risks they face because of data collection outweigh the benefits.
So the public at large will probably applaud this new Google policy. But most will still be skeptical and continue to have concerns over their privacy. And Google acknowledges this fact. So the company has announced that its web products will be powered by privacy-preserving APIs which it says prevent individual tracking while “still delivering results for advertisers and publishers.”
Google will also use Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC). These allow ads to be targeted at large groups of users based on their common interests, as opposed to tracking individual users. David Temkin said that Google will begin testing FLoCs with advertisers in the second quarter of this year. He added that Chrome intends to make FLoC-based cohorts available for public testing through origin trials with its next release this month.
“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,” said Temkin.” 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.”
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