The AI, an integral part of the overall Privacy Sandbox, is designed to monitor and collect web history, and instead of distributing it to shady data brokers, use the information to build groups of people with similar interests within Google’s ecosystem. Users also have more control over what they opt in to. According to GitHub, the following conditions must be met before Google’s AI can sync users’ browsing data:
1. The user is logged into a Google account and opted to sync history data with Chrome
2. The user does not block third-party cookies (soon to be irrelevant)
3. The user’s Google Activity Controls have the following enabled:
a. “Web & App Activity”
b. “Include Chrome history and activity from sites, apps, and devices that use Google services”
4. The user’s Google Ad Settings have the following enabled:
a. “Ad Personalization”
b. “Also use your activity & information from Google services to personalize ads on websites and apps that partner with Google to show ads”
Segments, or groups, will be composed of individuals who share similar interests, purchasing and browsing behavior. This information is compiled so advertisers can select from these groups for their targeted ads in lieu of third-party cookies. The result is vastly increased control for the user (and Google as well) alongside simplified but focused advertising options for businesses.
Google claims that “Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) proposes a new way for businesses to reach people with relevant content and ads by clustering large groups of people with similar interests. This approach effectively hides individuals ‘in the crowd’ and uses on-device processing to keep a person’s web history private on the browser."
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