FLoC off! Vivaldi Announces Removal of Google’s Tracking System

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Sienna Rowley
Sienna is an editor at Cloud Host News. She is an internet enthusiast, always eager to explore the latest trend in the tech space. In her free time, she is a modest family woman who loves traveling.

Google’s new tracking system ‘FLoC‘ continues to get the objection from chromium-based browsers. Now, Vivaldi is new to join the list after Brave said no to FLoC and remove it from its browser yesterday.

Vivaldi, yet another chromium-based browser has announced that it has removed Google’s tracking system that tracks users across various sites.

Google recently introduced Federated Learning of Cohorts or FLoC for its Chrome browser intended to improve privacy without impacting targeted ads.

However, Vivaldi called out Google’s step as dangerous that dents the user’s privacy.

Vivaldi Says FLoC off! Vivaldi doesn’t support FLoC

Chromium-based browser, Vivaldi declared in its blog post that “Google’s latest data harvesting venture is nasty”. Moreover, Vivaldi’s blog post begins with a header,

“FLoC off! Vivaldi does not support FLoC”

Header of Vivaldi’s blog post

Vivaldi said that user’s privacy is of utmost importance for them. So, they stand up for the privacy rights of its users and won’t approve tracking and profiling at any cost. They (Vivaldi) definitely won’t let their products build up local tracking profiles.

Vivaldi additionally stated in its blog post,

Though Google presents its tracking system ‘FLoC’ as a part of ‘privacy’ technologies, let’s eliminate the pretense here; FLoC is a tracking technology that invades user’s privacy.

Vivaldi is a chromium-based browser so it relies on the Chromium engine to correctly render web pages. However, it also said that the FLoC experiment won’t work in Vivaldi because it relies upon few hidden settings that are not enabled in Vivaldi.

The FLoC element in Google Chrome requires calling Google’s servers to check whether it can function as Google is just allowing it in the parts of the globe where Europe’s GDPR (General Data Regulation) is not covered. And, Vivaldi doesn’t allow such a call to be made to Google’s servers. It also said that they won’t support FLoC API and has plans to disable it, regardless of how the system has been deployed. It doesn’t protect the privacy and definitely is not useful for users.

On contrary, it unwittingly takes away the users’ privacy for the monetary gain of Google. Even though it’s an advancement to third-party cookies, several privacy advocates highly criticize Google’s privacy tracking system ‘FLoC’. The Electronic Frontiers Foundation (EFF) called the concept a ‘disastrous idea’ because now Chrome shares a review of each user’s recent browsing activity with marketers. 

Vivaldi’s Explanation to Why FLoC off

Vivaldi explained that previously an ad company could just observe the characteristics of a user’s personality associated with the sites where its(ad company) ads were utilized. An ad provider that was just utilized for 1,000 websites might just have seen each visitor on one or two of their websites. Hence, as a result, they couldn’t build up sufficient tracking data regarding a user.

The FLoC mechanism changes this entirely. Its core design includes sharing of new information with the advertisers. With this system, every site can view an ID that was generated from your behavior on every other site.

For instance; you visit a highly confidential site that may or may not utilize the FLoC ads and later visit other websites. Now, each and every other website that you visit will obtain your FLoC ID. This ID will show that you have visited a particular type of website.

Vivaldi said the FLoC ID can create complications for people who reside in an environment where aspects of their personality are oppressed for example their sexuality, political aspect, or religion.

It’s more than just about the privacy, it has crossed all the limits and invading the personal safety.

Vivaldi is rejecting FLoC, you should too 😀

Recently, Brave Browser Became the First Browser to Integrate IPFS Protocol and Mozilla Firefox 87 Launched, Packs Private Browsing ‘SmartBlock’.

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