DuckDuckGo Offers Chrome Extension To Block FLoC, Google Chrome’s Tracking Method


Google Chrome uses FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts) to provide visibility into user data on any website. To help websites recognize and target individuals, FLoC places each user in an identification group. To prevent this data flow, DuckDuckGo, a competitor to the Google search engine, has come up with an extension for Google Chrome that can block FLoC tracking. Users will now have the option to use the DuckDuckGo app or extension and opt out of FLoC monitoring entirely.

FLoC is Google’s alternative to third-party cookies. It is based on machine learning and allows the web browser to study the way users browse, then group them into “cohorts” without their knowledge. After that, the user will receive cohort-based ads. Specifically, users will be targeted with ads but more anonymously.

As Google claims, this was supposed to improve user privacy over third-party cookies. The above has been claimed because FLoC is based on “federated learning” that occurs on the user’s device, and this AI-based learning involves less user data sharing than third-party cookies.

Google has implemented fLoC to serve ads to all users based on their demographic and search trends, including third-party cookies. However, it didn’t take long before deciding that the tracking method would apply to all Google Chrome users without even considering their choice.

Stealth auto-inclusion can be avoided in FLoC by simply avoiding Google Chrome and installing the DuckDuckGo Chrome extension or changing their settings in Google Chrome. Mozilla Firefox and Safari are a few options.

The new DuckDuckGo Chrome extension automatically blocks FLoC activity on any website to protect user privacy. The extension can even update itself automatically, ensuring the user stays safe while browsing.

Those who still choose to use Google Chrome can protect their privacy by taking the following steps.

  1. Disable advertising personalization in Google ad settings
  2. Turn off web and app activity, or include history and Chrome activity for sites, apps, and devices that use Google services.
  3. Stay signed out of your Google Account to avoid syncing data history with Chrome if you don’t use a sync passphrase.

Users who choose to install the DuckDuckGo extension to be on the safe side with data will have the option of private search, global privacy control, smarter encryption, and tracker blocking.



Download the extension: