Google will continue to build profiles, and track users, in the absence of third-party cookies and localStorage. It presents FLoC as part of a set of so-called “privacy” technologies, but let’s remove the pretence here; FLoC is a privacy-invasive tracking technology.
This is a huge development in the browser space and is compelling enough to address it here. Most users are unaware the browsers have grown into complex engineering products which require significant expense to grow. Barring two major engines- Chromium (Blink) and Firefox (in development Servo and Gecko), there has been no major alternative in recent times. Apple remains happy stealing webkit without giving enough back to the community that it stole the code and refuses to acknowledge the developers.
Therefore, Google, by sheer size of investments, remains the sole owner of Chromium project, under the cover of open source. They are making changes in the way third party cookies will be replaced by identities and hence eventual loss of privacy- completely. Jon puts it better here:
Ads or tracking resources (scripts or “tracking pixels”) are included on pages where their adverts are hosted. The first time the browser loads one, the tracker sets a third party cookie with a unique identifier. Every time the user requests a tracking resource, the cookie gets sent to the tracker, and the tracker associates it with the data from previous requests. Over time, as a visitor visits several websites which have trackers from that same company, the company can build up a picture of the user’s behaviour. What pages they look at, what their political views are, what medical conditions they might have, where they live, and how much of their time is spent online.
So if you have one of those FLoC IDs, they can display ads for that product — even if that particular medical condition is something you would rather keep to yourself. They can still work out that you have that certain medical issue. That you seem to be in a certain age group, or that you seem to have certain character traits because you share the same ID as other people that have those traits.
If you are unfortunately using Chrome, please shift to Vivaldi (which is also my browser of choice).
Oh no, not Edge. On a fresh Windows install, I use Edge to download a better browser- like I have always been doing by using Internet Explorer. It was bad. Really bad. It also represents Microsoft’s failure to code a better browser than Chromium and hence swallowed crow and joined the Chromium project. They still make it bad.