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Google will not build ‘alternate identifiers’ to track individuals

The search engine giant had earlier announced that it will stop the support for third-party cookies

Addressing the privacy concerns of thousands of people across the globe, search engine giant Google has announced that it will not build any ‘alternate identifiers’ to track an individual’s activity on the web for its widely used product Chrome.

In a blog post, David Temkin, Director of Product Management, Ads Privacy and Trust at Google, said, “Today, we’re making explicit that once third-party cookies are phased out, we will not build alternate identifiers to track individuals as they browse across the web, nor will we use them in our products.”

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Earlier, the company had announced its intentions to stop supporting third-party cookies. Temkin also said that last year, Chrome announced its intent to remove support for third-party cookies, and they have been working with the broader industry on the Privacy Sandbox to build innovations that protect anonymity while still delivering results for advertisers and publishers.

Stating the importance of first-party data tools, Temkin in his blog said people should not accept being tracked in order to be served relevant ads. He also said advertisers don't need to track individual consumers across the web to get the performance benefits of digital advertising.

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He encouraged the use of innovation in space and said advances in aggregation, anonymization, on-device processing and other privacy-preserving technologies offer a clear path to replacing individual identifiers. He said the platform is instead looking at using Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) in a wider way.

“In fact, our latest tests of FLoC show one way to effectively take third-party cookies out of the advertising equation and instead hide individuals within large crowds of people with common interests. Chrome intends to make FLoC-based cohorts available for public testing through origin trials with its next release this month, and we expect to begin testing FLoC-based cohorts with advertisers in Google Ads in Q2. Chrome also will offer the first iteration of new user controls in April and will expand on these controls in future releases, as more proposals reach the origin trial stage, and they receive more feedback from end-users and the industry. This points to a future where there is no need to sacrifice relevant advertising and monetisation in order to deliver a private and secure experience,” he said.

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