Google announced in 2020 the beginning of the end of third-party cookies that monitor you while browsing your browser. The tech giant has begun releasing its "replacement" of cookies - a tracking mechanism called "Federated Learning of Cohorts" or simply FLoC.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) - an international non-profit digital rights group - wanting to show its opposition to Google FLoC, developed the tool «Am I FLoCed;», with which users can check if they are being tracked by Google FLoC.
Since its release last month, the FLoC system has come under fire for its lack of privacy. The new form of web tracking replicates your online history to group more accurately and gather more information in one ID. Google considers this technology an "alternative to privacy" instead of cookies, as your browser history is not transmitted directly to advertisers, only your ID.
The fact that Chrome is now equipped with the FLoC system is at best a less intrusive approach compared to cookies. Worst of all, it gives Google and others more recognition on the Internet.
Google FLoC currently affects 0,5% of users in areas such as Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines and USA. That's why EFF has developed the "Am I FLoCed" tool so you can check if Google FLoC is monitoring you.
How to use “Am I FloCed?”
To use the "Am I FLoCed" tool, go to the site and click on “CHECK FOR FLOC ID”. This tool will let you know if Google FLoC is monitoring you.
Your FLoC ID is what allows Google to categorize you into groups using your browsing history. According to the EFF, disabling third-party cookies is currently the only way to stop FLoC monitoring in Chrome. Another way is to switch to another browser.
Google FLoC monitoring is just an advanced form of monitoring that comes to replace cookies. The third-party cookies had to reach their end as they were very annoying and intrusive. The new approach must exist to allow users to decide whether they want to be monitored or not. However, creating a replacement tracking mechanism is not the solution but another problem for user privacy.