Google has not been having lots of luck getting their FLoC ad tech past regulators, with the EU already launching an investigation into the company even before they rolled FLoC out widely, and Google receiving similar threats from antitrust investigators in USA.
This does not appear to have stopped Twitter from being one of the first to support the intrusive profiling technology, reports reverse engineer Jane Manchun Wong.
Twitter is working on collecting FLoC from users
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) July 2, 2021
The company appears ready to read your FLoC ID from your browser, and will presumably not block Google from reading your Twitter activity to contribute to your profile.
The technology would turn your Chrome browser into a permanent surveillance tool for Google to profile you, based on your web activity.
15 attorneys general have already accused the company of trying to put its “Chrome browser at the center of tracking and targeting,” and the EFF has not been too impressed either, saying it actually reduces user’s anonymity and makes fingerprint easier for websites.
WordPress, which manages 40% of the world’s websites, has announced that they would be treating FLoC as a security risk, and would be rolling out a version of their CMS which blocks participation in FLoC.
WordPress explains their opposition by saying, by placing people in groups based on their browsing habits, FLoC is likely to facilitate employment, housing and other types of discrimination, as well as predatory targeting of unsophisticated consumers. It would also share user data without their informed consent.
It is disappointing that Twitter, which is a relatively anonymous social network, would compromise the safety of their users by sharing their data with Google who would then distribute the profile to advertisers and websites around the world.