Google is experimenting with added functionality to the Chrome browser that follows your browsing. It’s called Federated Learning of Cohorts, FLoCs. This is a way of tracking you for advertising purposes that doesn’t rely on third party cookies. That last bit sounds nice, but it is still very much based on active tracking, and this time it’s the Chrome browser itself that provides the data, turning Chrome into ad-delivery malware. You can opt-out with your Chrome browser, or better yet by not using Chrome, and also website owners can opt out their sites.

That is what I’ve done, opting out my WordPress site, by adding a small function to functions.php in my theme. Adtech cannot be aligned with the GDPR, so it wasn’t a decision at all.

WordPress seems to be planning to add that function to WordPress itself, starting from version 5.8, which should arrive in July. That sounds like a good step.

If that blocking is too successful however, I bet we’ll see opt-out settings actively ignored, like with the Do-Not-Track settings already.

Read Chrome to limit full ad blocking extensions to enterprise users - 9to5Google
Google shared that Chrome's current ad blocking capabilities for extensions will soon be restricted to enterprise users. SEC filing: "New and existing technologies could affect our ability to customize ads and/or could block ads online, which would harm our business."

Google’s Chrome is not a browser, it’s advertisement delivery software. Adtech after all is where their profit is. This is incompatible with Doc SearlsCastle doctrine of browsers, so Chrome isn’t fit for purpose.

Removing Chrome
image by Matthew Oliphant, license CC BY ND