Google announced today in a blog post that following trials, its FLoC initiative is being retired in favor of "Topics, a new Privacy Sandbox proposal for interest-based advertising".
Here is my precis of Google's description of how Topics will work:
Your browser selects - entirely on your device- a few topics in your top area of interest for that week based on browsing history. Topics are saved for 3 weeks then deleted. When you visit a participating site, Topics pick 3 topics - one from each of the past 3 weeks - to share with the site and its advertising partners. Google is building user controls into Chrome that will let you see and remove any topics you don't want or disable Topics completely.
"Because Topics is powered by the browser, it provides you with a more recognizable way to see and control how your data is shared, compared to tracking mechanisms like third-party cookies."
And by providing websites with your topics of interest, Topics gives online businesses an option to continue serving relevant ads that doesn't involve covert tracking techniques.
Google provides this example of a comparison of 3rd-party cookies vs. Topics:
For more information, see:
Full Technical Explanation on Github
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