When it comes to privacy on the internet, the new word on the street is ‘FLoC’.
Led by Google, a group of businesses and advertisers is pushing a new standard that would have your browser identifying your particular group of interests by a unique ID number.
This number will be sent to all sites you visit. VOILA! No more 3rd party cookies, and supposedly more privacy!
Of course, there’s the marketing mumbo jumbo and then there’s the reality of the situation.
So: What is FLoC? How does it work? And most importantly: Will it improve your privacy??
A lot of people these days are talking about protecting their online privacy.
We have hearings going on, threats of breaking up Facebook and other Big Tech companies, data leaks, and so on.
Many people are going so far as to boycott Google (which is easier said than done).
But so far, no one – except Mozilla – is talking about the biggest threat to online privacy: Browser Fingerprints.
You may have heard about the new-ish web browser in town: Brave.
The trouble is that it’s a bit hard to wrap one’s head around exactly how Brave is different – and supposedly better.
So, when a dude like that says, “Hey, I have an idea for a better browser!” it’s probably a good idea to at least take a good look at it…
You may have heard of browser fingerprinting and its security implications. Then again, maybe not.
In either case, you probably haven’t heard the whole story.
A browser fingerprint is when, by visiting a web site, that site can generate an ID (or fingerprint) that is unique to your computer. The fingerprint can then be sent to their server, and you can be tracked.
No cookies required, no security holes required, no “Do not track me” setting can make a difference… Just plain old browsing the web will do it!
Okay, so how does this all work? And what does it mean?