Ever wondered why your adverts seem a little too accurate? Well, turns out Google could be spying on you – and whilst Apple was the first to introduce a new feature to let you know if your phone was listening in on you, there’s a new way of finding out…
Although Google makes most of its money through advertisements, last month it announced some changes on how it collects users’ personal data. So, the search engine giant announced it was going to trial FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts) which promised to improve Google users’ anonymity.
However, it’s believed to involve a mere 0.5% of users in mostly countries like Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, and the US, and whilst Google said FLoC would only be a pilot run, it failed to explain to people how they could opt out of it…
In response, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) criticised Google’s use of FLoC and expressed ethical concerns that it could affect people’s privacy. Ever since a counter website has been created to enable people to find out if they’re being spied on by Google.
Am I FLoCed? Has been created by the EFF to check if you’re being used in the trial, ‘This page will try to detect whether you’ve been made a guinea pig in Google’s ad-tech experiment.’, the site explains.
The site then basically checks users’ FLoC ID and explains how Google’s spyware works, reading, ‘It uses your browsing history from the past week to assign you to a group with other “similar” people around the world.’
‘Each group receives a label, called a FLoC ID, which is supposed to capture meaningful information about your habits and interests. FLoC then displays this label to everyone you interact with on the web. This makes it easier to identify you with browser fingerprinting, and it gives trackers a head start on profiling you.’, it added
You can visit the site here: https://amifloced.org/