Floc Alternatives

Similar projects and alternatives to floc

NOTE: The number of mentions on this list indicates mentions on common posts plus user suggested alternatives. Hence, a higher number means a better floc alternative or higher similarity.

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Reviews and mentions

Posts with mentions or reviews of floc. We have used some of these posts to build our list of alternatives and similar projects. The last one was on 2021-06-15.
  • Google Play Services now lets you delete your advertising ID when you opt out of ad personalization
    reddit.com/r/Android | 2021-09-17
    Instead they propose new standards, like HTML Imports or FLoC, and the W3C decides as a whole whether or not they become official standards.
  • Google considers switching FLoC to a topic-based approach
    news.ycombinator.com | 2021-08-17
    With cross-site cookies, adnetwork.com has full information about what sites you've visited (among sites that incorporate their cookies). This isn't good either! But generally speaking, an individual site using adnetwork.com for advertising won't have or want access to that vector of your interests; many site operators don't even have visibility into what ads win real-time bidding, just that they're receiving money for providing their inventory. Certainly there are players that can provide demographic targeting metadata to site operators, but to my knowledge they are less widely known and certainly not cheap, and I imagine (or hope) any players with wide enough cookie reach would be discouraged from maintaining a database that could associate metadata with PII.

    With FLoC, though, the idea was that the browser would provide document.interestCohort() and the individual site's JS could react accordingly: https://github.com/WICG/floc . This means that any site, regardless of its contracts with ad networks, could immediately identify your cohort and associate it with your activity. Web developers working in good faith would be encouraged to have user.cohort or user.topic fields from day one "just so you have it" - imagine all the ways someone could use this in bad faith. Inevitably this data would leak (or be intentionally leaked) and could trivially become a target list for doxxing closeted people. It's a dangerous, dangerous proposal.

  • Trying to understand Addressability (for native mobile, and in general)
    reddit.com/r/adops | 2021-08-13
    You can't find any info about this because there isn't really any. Josh Karlin, who is the maintainer of the FLoC working document, said at an event that it might make sense to swap to topics. It's essentially just reducing the entropy of the cohorts and giving them a more comprehensible (and probably less useful) taxonomy. That's all the info there is.
  • Apple's Plan to "Think Different" About Encryption Opens a Backdoor to Your Private Life
    https://github.com/WICG/floc explains the overall goals.
  • Firefox Users Continue to Decrease Despite Proton Update
    reddit.com/r/firefox | 2021-06-30
  • Amazon is blocking Google’s FLoC
    news.ycombinator.com | 2021-06-15
    It's pretty complicated and my understanding could be wrong and definitely not an expert. All the stupid CIA-style names that keep changing don't help. Turtledove, fledge, sparrow lol.

    But from what I think I know that's kind of right technically, but kind of not in terms of actual real privacy.

    Yes, the actual browsing data, e.g. for the basic floc cohorts only what amazon product page you visited, is no longer 'sent' to ad networks (that's a pretty big oversimplification of how ad networks track you but for brevity). That data is parsed in your browser to generate a cohort ID for you.

    But this cohort ID is exposed to the world document.interestCohort() and is what's used for targeting and tracking.

    To me it seems that the cohorts are so small "thousands of people" + IP or UA it's basically the same as a semi-long lasting uuid.

    Here's an image from google's site.


    It also seems like Chrome/google might be still defaulting browser settings to give themselves even more data just like they currently do?


    BUT when you layer on the other proposals (Fledge/Turtledove/Dovekey or whatever) - which I don't understand that much maybe someone else can explain - it seems like it basically collect this page/product level data and makes it available to DSP etc for tracking/ad serving (again if not technically 1:1 basically in consequence given the sizes of these groups).

    Like one of the proposals talks about a 'trusted' key/value server which doesn't seem that different from what already happens? The original proposal wanted to move the entire ad bid/target/serve process into the browser.

  • Thank you Firefox for opposing Floc. This is uBlock Origins with about 20 YouTube videos!
    reddit.com/r/firefox | 2021-06-14
    and how FLoC works here: https://wicg.github.io/floc/
  • Advertisers are already combining Google's FLoC IDs with personal data
    news.ycombinator.com | 2021-06-10
    FLoC as a source of fingerprinting bits has been an issue in W3C discussions of the project.


    As a fingerprinting surface FLoC has similar properties to the Battery Status API -- not stable for the same user over long intervals, but can be used to help match pageviews from different domains that were close in time.


    news.ycombinator.com | 2021-06-10
    FLoC has a well defined API like (all) standards: https://wicg.github.io/floc/

    There's no reason why the website would not be reliable at detecting whether FLoC is enabled on your browser.

    You can also used https://floc.glitch.me/ which was linked in one of the blog posts from google.

  • Intelligent Tracking Prevention is getting even stronger by also hiding the user’s IP address from trackers on IOS 15
    reddit.com/r/adops | 2021-06-08
  • Apple, FedEx and the Cookie Apocalypse
    news.ycombinator.com | 2021-06-01
    you can target an Economist reader a week later on a different website. If FLoC works, you can still do that.

    https://github.com/WICG/floc won't really let advertisers do that, this is what https://github.com/WICG/turtledove is for

    (Disclosure: I work on ads at Google, speaking only for myself)

  • iOS 14 tracking changes sees big ad spending drop, tumbling prices
    news.ycombinator.com | 2021-05-31
    The issue is that the replacement that are currently in the works (https://github.com/WICG/floc and https://github.com/WICG/turtledove/blob/main/FLEDGE.md) are extremely complex, will still dramatically impact adtech performance and only improve privacy for a very contrived definition of the concept which incidentally benefits once again big tech vendors...

    As to the effectiveness of advertising, removing tracking will have a huge impact. And this affects all players in the value chain, not only adtech providers but also publishers and more importantly advertisers which will see their return on ad spent severely impacted. There is a real of loss "social welfare" (I mean in a game-theoretic sense, but also for real if you believe in capitalism) if tracking is disabled.

  • Am I FLoCed? A New Site to Test Google's Invasive Experiment
    reddit.com/r/privacy | 2021-05-21
    Additionally, uBO causes all websites to opt-out of being part of FLoC calculation by injecting the appropriate response header.
  • GitHub blocks FLoC on all of GitHub Pages
    Maybe he should explain it on this repo (https://github.com/WICG/floc) of which he is a co-author then since that is where I got my misunderstanding from.


Basic floc repo stats
2 months ago

WICG/floc is an open source project licensed under GNU General Public License v3.0 or later which is an OSI approved license.

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