Google's "Privacy Sandbox" is still ad tracking tech, the EFF warns

Google's "Privacy Sandbox" is still ad tracking tech, the EFF warns - Google FLoC - EFF Google

Last updated 8 month ago

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Google's "Privacy Sandbox" is still ad tracking tech, the EFF warns



A warm potato: The hotly debated "Privacy Sandbox" tech is Google's strategy to the standard hate reserved for 1/3-birthday party cookies and behavioral marketing. The Sandbox brings several new technologies including the Topics API, which would classify users in hobby-primarily based classes via cautiously watching what they do and wherein they go on the web.

According to Google's plans, Privacy Sandbox could be examined all through 2024 before changing third-party cookies in Chrome. The Topics API, which the Mountain View company added after the pushback against the formerly proposed Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC), is an answer a good way to offer Google with even more control over advertising in its personal browser.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which referred to as FLoC a "horrible concept," remains describing Topics as a consumer-monitoring technology designed to empower Google's behavioral advertising. The new API has been to be had in Chrome due to the fact September 2023, and is now employed to place users into almost 500 advertising classes indexed on GitHub.

If a consumer searches for "pupil loans," "financing," "parenting" or different advertising-associated topics, Chrome could tell the Topics API approximately their supposed on-line pursuits. A website assisting Privacy Sandbox might then ask Chrome for customers' pursuits, presenting the means to reveal related and tailored advertising inside the browser.

Google is looking its new tracking answer a "Privacy" Sandbox because it's miles supposedly designed to appreciate users' privateness, because it doesn't (or it should not) music character URLs and saves (or need to keep) customers desired "topics" on a local device. Google calls this tech "stronger advert privacy," the EFF determined, however the enterprise will nevertheless "gobble up your surfing conduct to serve you advertisements."

Mountain View just desires to maintain its bottom line in a extra privateness-conscious technology world, the non-earnings group said, centralizing the monitoring obligations on itself and changing "dozens" of organizations which are doing the same through 1/3-celebration cookies. While the Topics API "fairly" improves over the FLoC tech proposed in 2019, the EFF stated, it nevertheless is a terrible idea designed to serve customers ads and has not anything to do with real privacy.

Alternative browsers together with Mozilla Firefox or Apple Safari have already supplied additional protections against monitoring cookies considering 2019, and neither of those browsers will probably enforce some thing like Privacy Sandbox in the destiny. The EFF says that 0.33-party browsers are a better answer than Chrome to keep privateness on-line, while Chrome addicts can nevertheless tweak or disable Privacy Sandbox functions by means of following the commands provided by means of the organization. For now, at the least.

  • Google FLoC

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