Article: Brave reveals why it is disabling Google’s FLoC in the browser

Censorship, Software

Brave reveals why it is disabling Google’s FLoC in the browser

Brave focuses on three aspects of FLoC that it believes make the Web head in the wrong direction:

  • Sites are informed about browsing habits, even if users never visited them — this is a very strong argument, considering that sites did not know anything about a user if that user never visited the site; this is especially true for users who disable third-party cookies in their browsers, and use other protective means. For the average user, FLoC will still reveal more about their interests than before.
  • FLoC adds a strong identifier for fingerprinting — FLoC’s cohorts are made up of thousands of users, but that is a tiny group when it comes to fingerprinting. Coupled with other fingerprinting techniques, it could pave the way for improving fingerprinting accuracy.
  • Google should not be the one determining what is sensitive and what is not — Google wants to exclude sensitive categories, such as race, religion, sexual orientation, and others from being used by FLoC, to avoid creating cohorts made up of these groups. To exclude these, Google somehow needs to know about these, as it would not be able to make the determination otherwise.

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Article: DuckDuckGo Announces Plans to Block Google’s FLoC

Cyber-Security, Software

DuckDuckGo Announces Plans to Block Google’s FLoC

DuckDuckGo announces plans to block FLoC, Google’s new way of tracking users’ web browsing activity in Chrome.

DuckDuckGo finds it especially concerning that getting tracked via FLoC is not optional – all Chrome users are automatically opted into it.

“We’re disappointed that, despite the many publicly voiced concerns with FLoC that have not yet been addressed, Google is already forcing FLoC upon users without explicitly asking them to opt in. We’re nevertheless committed and will continue to do our part to deliver on our vision of raising the standard of trust online.”

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Article: Can We Rid the Open Web of Its “Gatekeepers”?

Decentralized Internet

Can We Rid the Open Web of Its “Gatekeepers”? - CPO MagazineCan We Rid the Open Web of Its “Gatekeepers”?

The notion of an “open web” is one that is defined by and for all of its users — not by governments or institutions, nor by private companies and select individuals. While the novel services that we rely on today have played a significant role in boosting digitalization and interconnectedness, they’ve also benefited an exclusive few. Today’s existing data sharing systems for the purposes of consumer targeting are ultimately determined by closed, centralized ecosystems — each offering limited visibility and inefficiencies due to the pipeline of intermediaries involved. With advertising largely funding the many platforms, services, and infrastructures that we rely on today, what’s needed is a neutral, decentralized infrastructure that can ensure the same levels of personalization and compliance that we see in a “walled” environment.

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