WordPress wants to automatically block FloC

The search engine company is currently testing FloC (Federated Learning of Cohorts) as an alternative solution for third party cookies. Due to significant data protection concerns, WordPress is now planning a standardized system lock.

Das Content-Management-System (CMS) announced on the company blogthat the FloC technology should be automatically blocked on WordPress sites in the future. According to the operators of the CMS, FloC would only replace one data protection problem with a new one. Therefore, WordPress plans to block tracking via FloC from operating system 5.8 – which is to be launched in July 2021 – by default.

Google is currently testing the introduction of the FloC system as an alternative to third-party cookies in the Chrome browser. The use of third-party cookies has so far enabled advertisers to closely track user activities and thus display personalized advertising. The search engine company announced last year that it would abolish third-party cookies by 2022. With FloC, marketers are to be offered a tracking solution for the Google browser that better protects user data. Instead of individualized tracking, users are grouped together in cohorts based on their surfing behavior.

WordPress fears that FloC could encourage discrimination on the internet

In addition to WordPress, the search engine DuckDuckGo and numerous data security activists also see Google’s new tracking solution as a danger to users. That’s how she writes Electronic Frontier Foundation:

The technology will avoid the privacy risks of third-party cookies, but it will create new ones in the process. It may also exacerbate many of the worst non-privacy problems with behavioral ads, including discrimination and predatory targeting.

And WordPress also explains that the FloC system could promote discrimination and significantly violate data protection:

[…] placing people in groups based on their browsing habits is likely to facilitate employment, housing and other types of discrimination, as well as predatory targeting of unsophisticated consumers. This is in addition to the privacy concerns of tracking people and sharing their data, seemingly without informed consent – and making it more difficult for legislators and regulators to protect people.

Furthermore, many users are not fully aware of the technology behind FloC and would therefore give their consent to such tracking in a uniform manner, according to WordPress. The operators of the CMS want to prevent this. Website owners who still want to enable tracking via FloC would have to activate this manually.

Deactivate FloC for older WordPress versions now

Since it is assumed that Google FloC will roll out before the latest WordPress version, website operators can already prevent tracking with the help of four lines of code:

WordPress provides four lines of code that can be used to prevent FloC tracking, © WordPress

About 41 percent of the freely accessible websites on the web are operated with WordPress. The blocking of FloC on all of these websites could send a clear signal to Google to continue working more intensively on an alternative for tracking via third-party cookies.

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Source: OnlineMarketing.de by onlinemarketing.de.

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