Google announced a new tool for personalized advertising on the internet, called Topics, which replaces the FLoC system, which the company had proposed as an alternative to the controversial cookieswhich had been targeted by various regulators for their potential to invade the right to privacy.
The new system, developed by Google in conjunction with the Privacy Sandbox initiative, part of FLoC, although it has new features. Among the main ones is that with Topics the browser generates a profile of 300 topics of interest to the user, which will be stored by the browser for a period of three weeks.
When a user visits a page, Topics will give advertisers three random topics from a selection of the top five most frequently used each week. Then, advertisers will have to infer what interests a user. For example, topics could be soccer, a country’s national team, and news about qualifying for the FIFA World Cup. Thus, when visiting the page of a clothing store, the advertiser will be able to infer that the user could be interested in acquiring the jersey of his country’s team.
Google points out that each user will be able to review and edit the topics generated by Topics, as well as deactivate the advertising system.
Google’s new system for personalizing web ads replaces FLoC, a system that presented advertisers with user groups relevant to certain types of advertisers. FLoC, also known as Federated Learning Cohorts, was Google’s answer to leaving behind the cookiescontroversial due to the amount of personal information they store about a user, including passwords.
Google detailed that Topics will begin to be implemented on some websites at the end of the first quarter of 2022. In order to make it easier for online advertisers to prepare for its use, Google shared a technical article with details for its implementation.