For a long time, Google has been tracking users around the internet and exploiting the data to serve up personalized adverts. During Q3 2021, the corporation was able to produce $65.1 billion in revenue, the majority of which came from advertising, a 41 percent increase over the previous year.
Google has been attempting to keep the business afloat as several of its rivals have begun to question the company’s ongoing tracking of its users in order to offer more relevant adverts.
Google’s Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) was a contentious browser-based strategy that aimed to provide advertisers with the same degree of anonymized information.
The model was created as part of Google’s Privacy Sandbox Initiative with the goal of tracking user behavior on websites and then combining the data into cohorts of interest.
Google just revealed a new tracking project named ‘Topics’ in a blog post and on GitHub.
The search engine behemoth wants to divide the web into 300 subjects with the Topics API for Privacy Sandbox, with more to come as the project progresses. When a user clicks on one of the topics, their ID is linked to them.
Despite Google’s explanation of the Topics API, privacy groups have raised many concerns about its implementation.
Brave Software’s Senior Privacy Researcher and Director of Privacy, Peter Snyder, said: “At root is Google’s insistence on sharing information about people’s interests and behaviors with advertisers, trackers, and others on the web that are hostile to privacy.”
According to Google, the groups would be relatively harmless and will not be centered on sensitive or intimate themes. The topics’ details are maintained for three weeks before being erased.
Although the firm has not yet begun to roll out the service, once it is, researchers will be able to better understand how Topics works and address any privacy concerns that may arise.
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