Protecting Online Privacy – What is Google FLoC?

The technology known as FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts) is Google’s new way of tracking users’ online activity without exposing details of their online history (or semi disclosing their identity). In data science, this is known as differential privacy (share information about a group of people without disclosing who the individual is).

FLoC shares public data with companies by using the online behavioral patterns of groups within Google’s online data while denying information about specific individuals in the dataset. To accomplish this, FLoC groups individual interests together (e.g. basketball fans, beach goers, retired people etc.). By grouping individuals together, consumers’ personal information should be hidden amongst the crowd. Despite the categorization, Group Think creates a personalized experience online.

Google wants to replace cookies with FloC, the traditional way of tracking online users. Cookies are stored in your browser and help websites track your personal interests (e.g. sites visited, locations, interests). Although cookies are useful for advertising, some have become way more invasive, reaching third-party cookies which track users as they move from one website to another.

The idea behind FLoC is revolutionary however, the issue arises when personalization gets lost in the mix by grouping people together. For example, someone may like football but FloC would never be able to understand (unless guessing) the individual’s favorite team.

Twik and Online Engagement 

Twik is the first automated personalization platform that creates a robust personalized experience for consumers. Twik does not use cookies, the standard technology, to track consumers’ demographics and psychographics but uses a proprietary technology called Fingerprint for identifying and targeting users, providing more accurate, anonymous, GDPR-compliant personalization. twik’s Fingerprint technology enables merchants to maintain and personalize 100% of their visitors whilst keeping the individual user’s privacy top priority.

twik Fingerprint is currently the leading commercial solution available to replace cookies and delivers greater accuracy when it comes to personalizing the online user’s experience. TEach fFingerprint is grouped into a 32-character identifier used to identify the user’s activity in realtime and in future sessions, without the use of cookies.

Although FLoC may look like a better alternative for creating more online privacy for their users than Cookies, it lacks the personalization characteristic. When people are grouped together, their individuality gets lost and they do not feel like the experience is there to serve them. The technology twik uses creates a more personalized experience for users, generating better and more personalized C+UX and generating more online sales and engagement for websites.

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