We reported in early July that Twitter has been one of the few websites to add support for Google’s FLoC ad-tech, despite the tracking technology, which uses your Chrome browsing habits to profile you, being widely panned.
It now appears Twitter has taken heed of the rising tide against the technology and has removed the tracker from their website, according to reverse engineer Jane Manchun Wong.
It appears that Twitter has removed the code related to collecting FLoC from users as of now https://t.co/JRl9HSjVRp
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) July 21, 2021
Google itself has stepped back from its plans to force the implementation of FLoC in the near term, after receiving much opposition from regulators.
Opposition to FLoC
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.
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.
Google has pushed back plans to implement FLoC to 2023 which may have been one of the reasons behind Twitter’s removal of support.