EFF Urges Chrome Users to Quit – Expand.com


The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is urging internet users to disable several settings in Google Chrome’s “Privacy Sandbox” to hide their online habits, or consider switching to Mozilla Firefox or Apple Safari.

Chrome’s Privacy Sandbox is neither private – preventing observation – nor a sandbox – an environment in which code can run in isolation. Rather, it is a set of advertising, analytics, anti-spam and anti-tracking technologies. The aim of some of them is to replace third-party cookies that can violate privacy by allowing online tracking of Internet users.

Google has introduced “Privacy Sandbox,” a Chrome feature first announced in 2019 that, among other things, swaps third-party cookies — the most common form of tracking technology — for what the company now calls “topics.” Topics is a response to the backlash against Google’s Federated Cohort Learning (FLoC), which was called a “terrible idea” because it gave Google even more control over advertising in its browser without protecting user privacy. Although there have been some changes to how it works since 2019, Topics continues to track your internet usage for Google behavioral advertising.

If you use Chrome, you can disable this feature through a series of three confusing settings.

With the version of the Chrome browser released in September 2023, Google tracks your web browsing history and creates a list of advertising topics based on the websites you visit. It works as expected. At launch, there are nearly 500 advertising categories like “Student Loans and Education Financing,” “Education,” or “Underwear” that you land in based on what you read online. A website that supports Privacy Sandbox asks Chrome what topics you are interested in and then displays an ad accordingly.

The idea is that instead of dozens of third-party cookies placed on websites by various advertisers and tracking companies, Google itself tracks your interests in the browser, controlling an even larger part of the advertising ecosystem than it already does. Google is talking about “improving advertising privacy,” which could indicate that from 2024 the company plans to “phase out” the third-party cookies that many advertisers currently use to track Internet users. But the company will continue to exploit your browsing habits to serve you ads, preserving its profits in a world where competition over privacy is pushing it to phase out third-party cookies.

Google plans to test Privacy Sandbox throughout 2024. This means third-party cookies will continue to collect and share your data in Chrome next year.

The new themes are slightly improved compared to FLoC 2019. It does not use the FLoC ID, a number that many fear could be used to take your fingerprints. The ad targeting topics are all public on GitHub, hopefully avoiding obviously sensitive categories like race, religion, or sexual orientation. Using Chrome’s ad privacy settings below, you can see which interest categories Chrome places you in and remove topics you don’t want to see ads for. There’s also an easy way to log out, which FLoC never actually did during testing.

Other browsers such as Firefox and Safari integrated privacy measures against third-party cookies in 2019 and 2020, respectively. None of these browsers have a similar privacy sandbox feature, making them better options if you prefer more privacy.

It’s misleading that Google calls all of this “privacy.” Although more effective than third-party cookies, the Privacy Testing Environment remains a monitoring tool, but one carried out by a single company rather than several dozen. Instead of hesitating between different tracking methods, even for minor improvements, we should work towards a world without behavioral advertising.

However, if you stick with Chrome, you can at least disable these features.

How to disable the Privacy Sandbox

Depending on when you last updated Chrome, you may have already received a pop-up asking you to accept the “Enhanced Advertising Privacy in Chrome” option. If you simply clicked the big blue “I agree” button to make the pop-up disappear, you agreed. However, you can easily return to the deactivation page at any time by clickingThree dots icon (⋮) > Settings > Privacy and security > Ad privacy page. There you will find this screen with three different settings:

EFF Urges Chrome Users to Quit –

  • Advertising topics: This is the basic component of Privacy Sandbox, which creates a list of your interests based on the websites you visit. If you leave this option enabled, you’ll eventually get a list of all your interests that will be used for ads, as well as the ability to block individual topics. Topics are renewed every four weeks (compared to once a week in the FLOC proposal) and random topics are added for security. You can disable this feature completely by turning the switch to “Off”.
  • Ads suggested by the site: This confusingly named option allows advertisers to perform what is known as “remarketing” or “retargeting,” also known as “After I buy a sofa, all the sites on the Internet will advertise the same sofa to me.” With this feature, the first site passes information to yours Chrome instance further (e.g. “This person likes sofas”) and the second website serving ads can interact with Chrome to display an ad for a sofa, even if the second website hasn’t learned that you like sofas. You can disable this interaction by turning the switch to “Off”.
  • Ad measurement: It allows advertisers to track ad performance by storing data in your browser, which is then shared with other websites. For example, if you see an ad for a pair of shoes, the website receives information about when you clicked on the ad and where it appeared. Disable this feature by turning the switch to “Off”.

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If you use Chrome, Firefox, Edge, or Opera, consider protecting your privacy even further with Privacy Badger, a browser extension that blocks third-party trackers that use cookies, fingerprinting, and other sneaky methods. In Chrome, Privacy Badger also disables the Topics API by default.

Source : Electronic Frontier Foundation

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Tinder travaille sur un new subscription mensuel a 500 dollars Google announces the general availability of Privacy Sandbox, marking the integration of an advertising platform directly into Chrome. The browser now tracks users directly

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Tinder travaille sur un new subscription mensuel a 500 dollars Chrome 115 makes the Privacy Sandbox APIs generally available and gives users more control over their data. Google wants to get rid of third-party cookies by 2024