Google ad-tracking tech experiment on Chrome spies on you — find out if you’re a test subject

Google has taken its first steps towards phasing out third-party cookies to stop tracking users’ browsing activity for targeted ads on Chrome. Now, it’s starting to roll out a new approach to interest-based advertising in the form of Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC), but it’s reportedly already been deployed to millions of unsuspecting Chrome users.

While the tech giant’s new FLoC feature aims to improve user privacy while also supporting publishers with an advertising business tool, non-profit organization Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) believes it’s a terrible idea.

The company, established to defend civil liberties in the digital world, claims Google’s FLoC will create new privacy problems and will make predatory advertising targeting even worse. The EFF was not too happy to hear Google kick off its developer origin trial to test the ad-tracking feature on random Chrome users without their consent.

So, it made its own tracking software to detect if you’re a test subject in the trial via Am I FLoCed?. According to Google, a small percentage of Chrome users in Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, and the US are in on the trial. If you’re suspicious, you’ll want to check if you’re a part of it.

Take note that unless you have Chrome 89 to 91 installed, you’ll automatically be opted out of the trial. Google’s ad-tech experiment will end on July 14.

What is FLoC?

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