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Google Kills Off FLoC, Replaces it With Topics

Tuesday January 25, 2022. 04:21 PM , from Slashdot
FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts), Google's controversial project for replacing cookies for interest-based advertising by instead grouping users into groups of users with comparable interests, is dead. In its place, Google today announced a new proposal: Topics. From a report: The idea here is that your browser will learn about your interests as you move around the web. It'll keep data for the last three weeks of your browsing history and as of now, Google is restricting the number of topics to 300, with plans to extend this over time. Google notes that these topics will not include any sensitive categories like gender or race. To figure out your interests, Google categorizes the sites you visit based on one of these 300 topics. For sites that it hasn't categorized before, a lightweight machine learning algorithm in the browser will take over and provide an estimated topic based on the name of the domain.

When you hit upon a site that supports the Topics API for ad purposes, the browser will share three topics you are interested in -- one for each of the three last weeks -- selected randomly from your top five topics of each week. The site can then share this with its advertising partners to decide which ads to show you. Ideally, this would make for a more private method of deciding which ad to show you -- and Google notes that it also provides users with far greater control and transparency than what's currently the standard. Users will be able to review and remove topics from their lists -- and turn off the entire Topics API, too.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.
https://yro.slashdot.org/story/22/01/25/1519222/google-kills-off-floc-replaces-it-with-topics?utm_so...
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