Privacy-focused browser DuckDuckGo has updated its Chrome extension to block two new ad targeting methods that are part of Google. . In a , DuckDuckGo informed users that they can block Google Topics and FLEDGE through its extension, or simply disable the “Privacy Sandbox” setting in Chrome. The search giant — its alternative method of tracking and targeting users for online ads which Google says is privacy-optimized — has come under fire from regulators and privacy advocates private. DuckDuckGo has joined the chorus of criticism of Google’s new advertising technology, which the search giant is currently on a limited number of users.
“While some agree that topics are a less invasive means of ad targeting, we disagree. Why not? Basically, it’s because, by default, Google Chrome will always automatically monitor your online activity and share information about you with advertisers and other parties so they can behaviorally target you without your consent. The director of DuckDuckGo, Peter Dolanjski, in this position.
The company also called Google’s FLEDGE (short for First Local-Executed Decision over Groups Experiment) its new method of (otherwise known as obnoxious ads that follow users wherever they go on the web). Unlike older methods, Google says FLEDGE enables remarketing based on a personal identifier on users. FLEDGE will also be integrated directly into Google’s Chrome browser, instead of the traditional ad retargeting that happens through third-party cookies.
“When you visit a website where the advertiser may be tracking with an ad, the advertiser may instruct your Chrome browser to place you in an interest group. Then, when you visit another website that displays ads, your Chrome browser starts an ad auction based on your interest groups and targets specific ads at you. So much for your browser working for you! », writes Dolanjski.
It may only be lip service, but Google has emphasized that it welcomes feedback from privacy advocates and regulators as it continues to test Privacy Sandbox. The UK’s competition watchdog gave Privacy Sandbox a cautious look earlier this year. The phasing out of cookies is supported longer than expected at Google. Google has regularly updated its Privacy Sandbox, and the new estimate is that it will phase out support for third-party cookies over a three-month period at the end of 2023.
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.