Twitter Reportedly Becomes The First Major Online Platform To Display Compatibility With Google's FLoC

Twitter is probably among one of the first platforms to support Google FLoC, a move that won't exactly endear the social media app towards its users or the general public.

Google's FLoC has been neck deep in legal waters ever since it was announced. In an era where targeted advertisements already siphon off more personal data than any user would feel comfortable handing out, FLoC seems like a last straw for the tech giant. What makes the situation mildly amusing is the way it was announced. In 2021, Google proudly announced that the company would stop relying on third party cookies, as they often prove to be too intrusive towards users, and move on towards technology called FLoC. While the general public was very receptive towards the idea of banishing cookies as a whole, heads were scratched over what exactly FLoC meant. Was it new technology, a sorting system? The answer ended up proving to be just as worrying as third party cookies.

With FLoC (short for Federated Learning of Cohorts), Google sought to create it's own brand of targeted advertising. This time around, websites and platforms compatible with FLoC would continue to monitor an individual's browser history, in much the same way that third party cookies did. Except this time around, Google essentially owns all of the collected information. Now, this is an awful thing to do for two primary reasons. The first reason relates to privacy.

FLoC breaches personal privacy by collecting an individual's browser history. What's worse is that by using the Chrome browser, users literally cannot choose to opt out, unless they rely on VPN networks. FLoC does not ask for permission, it simply steals browser data. This is a move that has been highly contested everywhere. FLoC has not been made compatible with any other browser, and is being challenged across the EU and, to a certain extent, in the USA. GitHub, DuckDuckGo, and WordPress are just some of the important platforms out there that have actively blocked the usage of FLoC.

The second reason boils down to monopoly. With a company as big as Google, utilizing the biggest and most important browser for data siphoning, smaller companies lose heavily. The banning of third party cookies, good as it may be, means that data craved by advertisers is now exclusively owned by Google to monopolized on. It's distribution and selling are transactions that can be expected over the coming years.

Twitter's decision to become the first major third party platform to accept FLoC is a big loss. It shows that even other big online platforms will eventually cave into Google's demands. Here's to hoping that the EU sticks to its guns on the matter.

Read next: Survey Shows The General Population's Disdain Towards Corporations Profiting Off Of User Data

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