Google is trying to shake up how the advertising industry (and others) track people online. At the heart of the changes is a feature in Google Chrome called “Privacy Sandbox,” which Google started rolling out in early 2021.
Federated Learning of Cohorts, or FLoC for short, is a cornerstone of the “privacy-first future for web advertising” that Google laid out in a blog post in January of 2021.
Google is an advertising company first and foremost. By tracking a user with a third-party tracking cookie, Google builds up a profile of the things that the user is interested in, from their favorite sports teams to who they vote for every four years. This identifier is then used to target the user with specific adverts that they’re likely to be interested in, and thus, more likely to click on.