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Technology

Google to stop using browser history for ad targeting

  • Google made a surprising announcement that it will stop using its users' browsing history for ad tracking.
04 Mar 2021
Source: Reuters
Source: Reuters

Google made a surprising announcement yesterday that it will stop using its users' browsing history for ad tracking. While the tech giant thrives on browsing data, it plans on upending the that entire model in the near future.

David Temkin, who is the Director of Product Management, Ads Privacy and Trust at Google, recently wrote a blog post explaining this move. "If digital advertising doesn't evolve to address the growing concerns people have about their privacy and how their personal identity is being used, we risk the future of the free and open web," he says.

While trends also changing and users are becoming more aware of privacy concerns, tech companies are now facing the question of either maintaining user trust or earning more ad revenue.

Temkin also quoted a study by Pew Research Center, which claimed that 72% of people feel that almost all of what they do online is being tracked by advertisers, technology firms or other companies, and 81% say that the potential risks they face because of data collection outweigh the benefits.

According to Temkin, Google's web products will now be powered by privacy-preserving APIs, which prevent individual tracking but still deliver results for advertisers and publishers.

Google will start testing for these FloC-based APIs next month and then, it will also test the data gleaned from those APIs with advertisers in the second quarter of 2021. The tech giant hopes to offer these new privacy controls within Chrome in April this year.