DuckDuckGo, alternative search engine, to block Google's FLoC ad-tracking tech
DuckDuckGo users will automatically be opted out of FLoC
April 12, 2021 / 12:12 PM IST
Internet search engine DuckDuckGo
Google, as it had recently outlined, is moving away from individual user tracking on the web. Instead, it has suggested and alternative called FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts), which will no longer track users on an individual level.
The search engine's alternative to third-party cookie-based tracking would remain in use, but would be done at a group level instead of an individual level. This means, all browsing activity that advertisers see wouldn't be tied to an individual account. Instead, advertisers are shown an estimate of interest from a group of people who are divided into blocks based on common interests.
While technically this means that advertisers only get to see a group of people and their interests, Google will still have access to individual data. You just have to trust them to not misuse it.
But alternative search engine DuckDuckGo is having none of it. The company is particularly disappointed that Google has already begun tracking user groups without their consent.
In a statement, cited by the Search Engine Journal, DuckDuckGo has said that "despite the many publicly voiced concerns with FLoC that have not yet been addressed, Google is already forcing FLoC upon users without explicitly asking them to opt in. We’re nevertheless committed and will continue to do our part to deliver on our vision of raising the standard of trust online.”
DuckDuckGo users on all devices will automatically be opted out of FLoC, the minute they begin using the search engine. DuckDuckGo's Chrome extension will do the same thing, although that is subject to Google's approval.