Google has vowed to stop advertisers from tracking online users because it wants to improve user privacy. Google vows to that with third-party cookies. At the same time, the company wants to improve the anonymity of users through the use of FLoC, while still collecting users browsing data for advertising purposes.
Google will provide an avenue for testing for a limited pilot run but not much information has been given regarding that. There is also no straightforward way for users to opt out of testing.
However, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is criticizing Google for making use of the FLoC tracker, saying that this tool will still harm users’ privacy. The group said that FLoC is a terrible idea, and Google should cancel the project.
Now, a new tool can also let you know if Google’s new ad tech is spying on you, or FLoCing on you. It is called Am I FLoCed? A website that has just one purpose – to tell users whether they are part of the origin trial, which involves some users in various countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines, and the United States.
When used properly, Am I FLoCed? Will deliver an immediate answer to the question and it helps you to know if you’re not FLoCed.
Why is Am I FLoCed? Relevant? It is relevant because FLoC seems to have been delivered or deployed to millions of users who are random Chrome lovers, without telling them what is happening.
EFF website explains how FLoC tracking works. The tool uses browsing history to assign users to a group of similar people around the world. This allows personalized advertising that will not call for targeting individual users. But FLoC should also add an anonymity layer.