Apr 19, 2021 7 min read

FLoC criticisms put Google in an untenable position

FLoC criticisms put Google in an untenable position

The FLoC origin trials have begun along with a rising tide of criticism against it spilling out into the digital advertising and technology community.

FLoC ostensibly preserves user privacy by replacing user tracking via third-party cookies with a cohort-based alternative that anonymizes users into large groups with similar browsing habits. The Google-led initiative implies that tracking users on an individual level leads us astray from the path of privacy righteousness.

The concept of individual user tracking in any sense has attracted its condemnations — but critics of FLoC have pointed out that it may generate an entirely new set of privacy issues.

Other Browsers vs. FLoC

The FLoC documentation outlines the concept as browser agnostic and Google presented FLoC to the Web Incubation Community Group (WICG) of the W3C. The WICG is a group within the W3C, the international organization responsible for developing open web standards, but the WICG is quick to point out:

"It is not a W3C Standard nor is it on the W3C Standards Track "

There is no indication that any web browser other than Chrome will adopt FLoC as a standard, and Mozilla (Firefox) and Brave have confirmed that they will not support FLoC.


Mozilla told Digiday that they have no plans to implement any Privacy Sandbox proposal into their Firefox browser. Mozilla believes that passive data collection without a user's knowledge is unnecessary for advertising, which aligns with their previous decision to block 3rd party tracking cookies by default.

Read the full story

Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter to read the full story and get access to all members-only posts.

Already have an account? Sign in
Great! You’ve successfully signed up.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
You've successfully subscribed to Ad Tech Explained.
Your link has expired.
Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.
Success! Your billing info has been updated.
Your billing was not updated.