Am I FLoCed is one of an effort to uncover the invasive practices of the adtech industry—Google included. It is a new site where you can check if you are being subjected to the latest advertising experiment, FLoC.
What is FloC?
Federated Learning of Cohorts or FLoC is Google’s new advertising technology intended to replace third-party cookies and related technologies like third-party localStorage. Designed to help advertisers target ads once third-party cookies go away.
FLoC takes most of your browsing history in Chrome, analyzes it and assigns it to a category or cohort. Which means all the trackers who currently monitor your activities across a fraction of the web using cookies will now receive your FLoC cohort ID as well. The cohort ID is a direct reflection of your behavior across the web. You can find a more detailed explanation here.
It is currently trialed in Google Chrome and is a part of the Chromium browser engine. The trial will affect up to 5% of Chrome users worldwide and will be chosen completely at random regardless of most ad and privacy settings, without notice, much less consent. Except for users who have turned off third-party cookies in Chrome.
No matter how it is implemented, FLoC never makes you anonymous. It does not protect online privacy and it certainly is not beneficial to users. If you don’t want to be fingerprinted with Google’s new tracking method, we recommend checking DuckDuckGo, a private alternative to Google search. This privacy-focused DDG Chrome extension has FLoC blocking feature.
You may also consider Brave browser for more secure browsing. Brave was built to block ads and website trackers which provides its user’s privacy protection. It is no surprise that Brave opposed FloC and removed FLoC completely from all components.