Today, Google launched an “origin trial” of Federated Learning of Cohorts (aka FLoC), its experimental new technology for targeting ads. A switch has silently been flipped in millions of instances of

Hopefully nobody here is still using chrome on personal machines, but good to know

Google’s launch of this trial—without notice to the individuals who will be part of the test, much less their consent—is a concrete breach of user trust in service of a technology that should not exist.


This is why I use Firefox with an ad-blocker. It’s far from perfect but it does the job for now


Indeed. It probably wouldn’t go over very well if FF surreptitiously rolled out similar ad features through their own experiments infrastructure.

I’m still learning about Google’s federated learning and don’t understand how ad platforms will identify so called cohorts in other browsers

FLoC: for interest-based audiences. The API generates clusters of similar people, known as “cohorts”. Data is generated locally on the user’s browser, not by a third party. The browser shares the generated cohort data, …

It appears there are many working proposals, ideally we could voice an opinion of which is worst for the sake of the unconfigged web.

Additional Info:

[FLoC] addresses category, ads targeting based on someone’s general interests. For personalized advertising … please check out the TURTLEDOVE proposal.

with some bizarre features such as on-device bidding and bring your own untrusted server:

On-device bidding by buyers (DSPs or advertisers), based on interest-group metadata and on data loaded from a trusted server at the time of the on-device auction — with a temporary and untrusted “Bring Your Own Server” model, until a trusted-server framework is settled and in place.

On-device ad selection by the seller (an SSP or publisher), based on bids and metadata entered into the auction by the buyers.

wrt to Firefox, it is interesting to a see a Mozilla rep commenting in the issues

For example, based on Firefox telemetry data the IP addresses of a percentage of our users changes regularly over time. With FLoC those requests that would be presented to the network with different IP addresses … (by Ehsan Akhgari ehsan, Mozilla

and different browser vendors in the draft spec:

The string representation of the interest cohort version is implementation-defined. It’s recommended that the browser vendor name is part of the version (e.g. “chrome.2.1”, “v21/mozilla”), so that when exposed to the Web, there won’t be naming collisions across browser vendors. As an exception, if two browsers choose to deliberately use the same cohort assignment algorithm, they should pick some other way to give it an unambiguous name and avoid collisions. (


I mean, Mozilla did actually experiment with a similar concept, but theirs was full-on private: All possible ads got downloaded, then it was decided locally which ad to show based on the browser history.

Admittedly, that doesn’t scale very well…


I would like to add that this is added to chomium browsers too unless the maintainers of the browser stop it and also added to websites unless the websites opt out :(

I’m using Brave rn so I do hope they will take it out


I agree with samuraikid, it looks okay but is kinda shaky, with having injected third party sponsors into the search suggestions and also integrates with block chain wallets. Sure it focusses on privacy but not quite as well as fire fox and others. Get another non chromium browser is my advice.

Yeah, that makes sense. I was using LibreWolf before I guess I will go back…

I’ve seen a lot of bullshit “I don’t agree with the views of the creator, so you shouldn’t use it”, but this is actual criticism, thanks!


Dont’ use brave an advice


deleted by creator


Why can’t Google just ask you what you’re interested in and serve ads related to that? I’d be fine filling out a browser setting indicating that I’m interested mainly in computers and electronics gear and then get ads only for that.


Perhaps advertisers pay a premium on an idea that these trackers and analytics know users better than users know themselves…


a concrete breach of user trust

Can’t make a breach of trust if nobody trusts you.

Gladly, this seems like the kind of thing that only works with specific browsers


can’t wait for the google bots that kill all the nazis


seems there’s a lot of nazis here…


on guard friends, we keep us safe

A place to discuss privacy and freedom in the digital world.

Privacy has become a very important issue in modern society, with companies and governments constantly abusing their power, more and more people are waking up to the importance of digital privacy.

In this community everyone is welcome to post links and discuss topics related to privacy.

Some Rules

  • Posting a link to a website containing tracking isn’t great, if contents of the website are behind a paywall maybe copy them into the post
  • Don’t promote closed source software
  • Try to keep things on topic
  • If you have a question, please try searching for previous discussions, maybe it has already been answered
  • Reposts are fine, but should have at least a couple of weeks in between so that the post can reach a new audience
  • Be nice :)

Related communities

much thanks to @gary_host_laptop for the logo design :)

  • 0 users online
  • 21 users / day
  • 78 users / week
  • 204 users / month
  • 463 users / 6 months
  • 2475 subscribers
  • 1101 Posts
  • Modlog