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DRUPAL AND GOOGLE FLOC

This year 2021 seems to be the end of "third party cookies". For some time (even years) several browsers have been blocking them, but Chrome was not willing to do so.

The reason is simple, third-party cookies are widely used for online advertising, they are an attack on the privacy of users, but they are a lesser evil for Google because advertising gives them a lot of money ->, therefore, the use of cookies gives them a lot of money. And as usual, Google does not want to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.

To everyone's surprise, this 2021 Google has said that Chrome is going to stop supporting cookies, but... it has developed a new technology that comes to be a substitute.

The new technology is called FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts) and is currently in the testing phase.

The problem is that it seems that FLoC is worse than the cookies we had until now. In a very summarized and simplified way what FLoC does is:

  • Collect information from your browsing history. Yes, exactly, your history has never been private. They know what websites you visit and how often.
  • It detects which bubble you belong to. Let's say it groups similar people into bubbles. People who look at soccer websites, people who look at technology websites, ..... It can be complex bubbles (people who like Barça and also go to Apple technology sites).
  • It sends you advertising based on your interests. What they call "relevant advertising".

This gets more complicated when you put it together with other identification techniques. Knowing your IP, your browser, your operating system, screen size and if you add FloC then we are in the same situation as before with the use of cookies. They know exactly how to identify each person and show them tailored advertising.

People are against it

As usual, many people are in favour of the end of cookies, and against FLoC. People don't want to be chased by advertising.

Browsers like Safari, Firefox and Brave have already said they will not support FLoC.

CMS like WordPress have already said that by default all websites made with the CMS will block Google's FLoC.

What about Drupal?

In Drupal of course they have also said that they are against it, that by default they want to block it.

At the moment they are working on it at https://www.drupal.org/project/drupal/issues/3209628

If you are in a hurry to block FLoC, I recommend you to install https://www.drupal.org/project/flocblock in your Drupal website, that's what I have done.