Google introduces new plan to stop web-tracking cookies

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Official Reporter
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US-based technology giant Google has revealed a new plan to stop utilizing small files known as cookies to track people’s web browsing activities, after its previous proposals were roundly criticized.

According to the reports, “Google was fined $169 million (150 million euros) by France earlier this month for its cookie policy, putting pressure on US tech titans to reform their data collection practices.”

Privacy campaigners have pushed hard against the use of cookies, which transmit users’ information often to dozens of companies each time they visit a website. But the files form the backbone of the online advertising industry that has proved hugely profitable for Google and their customers, as per the statement.

The company said that “it would trial a new system called “Topics”, which it said would protect privacy while continuing to allow targeted advertising.”

As per the reports, “Chrome users will still be tracked and the websites they visit and advertising partners will be given three topics — broad themes supposed to correspond to their interests – based on the user’s browsing history.”

However, the firm stated that the process of generating topics would take place entirely on the user’s device, with no access granted to Google. Advertisers will only be able to retain the topics for three weeks, and Chrome users will have the option of opting out entirely.

“Topics” replaces an earlier idea floated by Google called “Federated Learning of Cohorts” (FLoC), which caused anxiety among advertisers and the media industry.

“Topics was informed by our learning and widespread community feedback from our earlier FLoC trials, and replaces our FLoC proposal,” commented senior Google official Mr. Vinay Goel.

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