If you read my blog, you’ll know I’m concerned about online privacy and user tracking. Recently, Google has announced (and implemented) a new tracking mechanism that no longer requires cookies to work. It’s called “Federated Learning of Cohorts”, or “FLoC”.
This explains why Google didn’t fiercely oppose third party cookies being phased out. They’ve developed something better. For them. Certainly not for us.
What can you do?
This blog post by DuckDuckGo lists a number of steps you can take to avoid being profiled by FLoC. The most important thing is probably to stop using Google Chrome. Or use it only with the DuckDuckGo extension (or something similar) installed.
Opting out as a website owner
It is possible to opt-out of FLoC on a website level. This requires the website to add an HTTP header that tells Google to not gather FLoC information on that website. The blog post I linked to above also has info on this header.
To make this easy for WordPress website administrators, I’ve created a small plugin that adds the header for you. You can download it here:
Google’s FLoC trial has officially ended, and has been superseded by the Topics API. Version 1.3 now uses the new header to opt out of the Topics API.