Google Expects 'FLoC' To Replace Third-Party Cookies In Ads

Google on Monday released information on the progress it has made to replace third-party cookies for online advertisers in its project called Privacy Sandbox, which consist of technology that represents how its online advertising and measurement products will work on the web.

The company feels "confident" in the progress being made with Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC), a solution that focuses on privacy that clusters large groups of people with similar interests by hiding them in the crowd and anonymizing then, and keeps the user information on the device rather than sharing it across the web. 

“It might be hard to imagine how advertising on the web could be relevant, and accurately measured without third-party cookies,” Chetna Bindra, group product manager, user trust and privacy at Google, wrote in a post.

Tests show advertisers can expect to see at least 95% of the conversions per dollar spent when compared to cookie-based advertising.

Google’s push to protect user privacy and adhere to government regulations worldwide led it to create Privacy Sandbox, which it made public in August 2019.

The project consists of many tools changing the way Google will conduct online advertising and privacy in the future. In turn, it will alter the way advertisers work with its products. It started with the idea that groups of people with common interests could replace individual identifiers.

The ad-tech community worked with Google, which has received proposals from Criteo, NextRoll, Magnite, and RTB House.

Chrome published a new proposal called FLEDGE which expands on a previous Chrome proposal called TURTLEDOVE, and takes into account the industry feedback they have heard, including the idea of using a “trusted server” designed to store information about a campaign’s bids and budgets.

Google intends to make FLEDGE available for testing through trials later this year with the opportunity for ad-tech companies to use the API under a “bring your own server” model.

Google also worked on a way for companies to distinguish actual visitors from fraudulent traffic. Chrome’s March update to support a new type of Trust Token issuer that would improve the detection of fraud on mobile devices while safeguarding user privacy. 

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