WordPress Proposes Blocking Google’s FLoC

In the recent announcement from WordPress, they state that they are treating Google’s new FLoC tracking technology as a security concern and may block it by default on WordPress sites.

Google’s Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) received a lot of criticism concerning privacy. “FLoC is meant to be a new way to make your browser do the profiling that third-party trackers used to do themselves: in this case, boiling down your recent browsing activity into a behavioral label, and then sharing it with websites and advertisers,” the EFF said. “The technology will avoid the privacy risks of third-party cookies, but it will create new ones in the process. It may also exacerbate many of the worst non-privacy problems with behavioral ads, including discrimination and predatory targeting”.

For website administrators who want to opt in to FLoC can do so by overriding the code. A few more lines of code would create an on/off toggle option. WordPress also indicated that they might add a setting that allows admins to control whether FLoC is permitted.

“Furthermore, a significant number of WordPress sites only update to minor versions. By back-porting, we can protect more sites and more visitors to those sites — and amplify the impact.”

WordPress states that this block will be part of WordPress 5.8 and scheduled for release in July 2021.

Options for website owners to opt out of FLoC:

  • A website owner can opt out by adding this header to their website.

Permissions-Policy: interest-cohort=()

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