WordPress to treat Google FloC tech as a security issue

With a proposal in WordPress Core to block the controversial alternative identifier to third-party cookies by default, the backlash against Google’s Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) has continued.

Google’s latest ad-tracking technology, Federated Learning of Cohorts, will be treated as a security issue by the project that manages the WordPress content management system, which claims to power about 41% of the Web.

Users who want to enable FLoC should be able to do so themselves, according to the proposal, and with a little more coding, FLoC could be toggled on and off in blog settings.

Google’s testing of FLoC was not publicly disclosed, and it was only discovered after the EFF, a digital rights organization, announced the launch of a trial on March 30.

On Sunday, a post by a core developer known as Carike cited the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s explanation of FLoC, in which the technology is being described as a “terrible idea.”

“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.”

“Currently, 5.8. is only scheduled for July 2021. FLoC will likely be rolling out this month,” it states.

Google’s move has been opposed by privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo, as well as the companies behind the browsers Vivaldi and Brave.

Read: DuckDuckGo has slammed the new ad tracking method by Google

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