FLoC: WordPress proposes to block Google’s new ad tracking tool

The outcry against Google’s new advertising tool, named “FLoC” (Federated Learning of Cohorts), continues with WordPress, which proposes to block by default the controversial alternative to third-party cookies.

WordPress aims to use the weight of its blogging system to counterbalance the FLoC tool. “WordPress powers about 41% of the web – and this community can help fight racism, sexism, anti-LGBTQ + discrimination as well as people with mental illnesses with four lines of code,” we can say. read.

If users want to use the FLoC tool, WordPress specifies that they will be able to activate it themselves, with a little more code to enable and disable it in the blog settings.

WordPress offers to block the default tool

“If we measure the interests of stakeholders, with on the one hand the administrators of the sites who are not even aware that it is a problem that they must mitigate, and on the other the interests of the users and visitors to these sites, the proposal is simply more convincing, ”explains WordPress in its proposal.

To make the block work for current users, WordPress suggests that the FLoC tool be treated as a security issue that will be backported, rather than waiting for the next major update, in July.

“Version 5.8. is currently scheduled for July 2021. The FLoC tool, meanwhile, will probably be deployed this month ”, we can read. “Additionally, a significant number of WordPress sites only update with minor versions. By backporting, we can protect more sites and more visitors to those sites – and amplify the impact. “

FLoC facing criticism

FLoC technology has been the subject of fierce criticism, especially from browsers Vivaldi and Brave, mainly because of how it would share a summary of recent browser history with advertisers – which third-party cookies could. potentially trying to do, but no guarantee of success.

“Its basic design involves sharing new information with advertisers,” Chromium-based browser Vivaldi said last week. “With this system, if you visit a website on a topic that is very personal to you, whether or not it uses FLoC ads, all other sites you visit will know your FLoC ID, and will therefore be aware that you have visited this type of site. Vivaldi adds that this tool could have serious consequences in environments where individuals are persecuted for their sexuality, political views or religion. “All of these can be found in your FLoC ID. It goes far beyond privacy, it even touches on personal security. “

The Electronic Frontiers Foundation says the era of third-party cookies is over, and it is now time to decide whether users should decide what information they want to share, or whether to create a prevention label. “Recent history [des utilisateurs], divided into several bits, is “democratized” and shared with dozens of anonymous actors who take part in the services of each web page “, explains the foundation. “It’s like people start every interaction with a confession: here’s what I did this week, please treat me accordingly.”

Source: .com

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