20 April

WordPress Announced to Automatically Block Google FloC on Websites

Google FloC

For all those who are involved in WordPress development, WordPress announced that they are planning to treat Google FloC (Federated Learning of Cohorts) tracking technology as a security concern and disable it by default on WordPress websites.

Browsers, for some time, have started to block third-party browser cookies used by marketers and advertisers for online advertising. For this, Google introduced a new ad tracking technology FloC that makes use of the browser to anonymously keep users’ interest or behavioral buckets on the basis of how they browse the web. When Google started testing FloC this month in Google Chrome, there has been an agreement among privacy advocates that the implementation of Google’s FloC has only replaced one privacy risk with another one.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) explained in a recent blog post, “FLoC is meant to be a new way to make your browser do the profiling that third-party trackers used to do themselves: in this case, boiling down your recent browsing activity into a behavioral label, and then sharing it with websites and advertisers.”

“The technology will avoid the privacy risks of third-party cookies, but it will create new ones in the process. It may also exacerbate many of the worst non-privacy problems with behavioral ads, including discrimination and predatory targeting.”

After that, other privacy browsers and search engine developers, including DuckDuckGo, Brave Browser, and Vivaldi have blocked Google’s FLoC from their software or developed tools to disable it by default.

WordPress Plans to Block Google FloC by Default

WordPress also states that they regard Google FloC tracking technology as a security concern and will start blocking it in the latest versions.

WordPress states, “WordPress powers approximately 41% of the web – and this community can help combat racism, sexism, anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination, and discrimination against those with mental illness with four lines of code,” says WordPress.

WordPress is going to disable Google’s FLoC using the below-given four-line code, which will cause WordPress to issue a HTTP request header telling the web browser that FLoC should be deactivated for the website.

function disable_floc($headers) {

    $headers[‘Permissions-Policy’] = ‘interest-cohort=()’;

    return $headers;

  }

add_filter(‘wp_headers’, ‘disable_floc’);

WordPress further explains that although some site admins may want to use this technology, those admins must have the technical knowledge to override the above code. If not, then it is wise to approach a professional WordPress web development company for support. WordPress also added that admins can add a setting that helps them to control whether FloC is allowed or not.

Our team of WordPress developers is well-versed with WordPress and therefore, you can approach them for professional assistance for your WordPress website.

However, one of the major concerns of WordPress is that users who are unaware of Google’s new tracking technology will blindly opt into it without even understanding its concepts or risks associated with it. Therefore, it’s for the benefit of these users, WordPress has decided to automatically disable Google’s FloC.

As a leading WordPress web development company, we keep an eye on the latest news about WordPress to keep all our clients updated on all the latest information about WordPress. We make sure that their WordPress websites are not compromised by any changes, security flaws, or latest versions of WordPress.

WordPress further explains, “When balancing the stakeholder interests, the needs of website administrators who are not even aware that this is something that they need to mitigate – and the interests of the users and visitors to those sites, is simply more compelling,”

WordPress also states that the above code is planned for its future version WordPress 5.8 which has been scheduled for release in July 2021. As Google’s FloC is anticipated to roll out very soon, WordPress is looking to back-port the above code to previous WordPress versions to increase the impact on the latest WordPress versions.

If you need any kind of help related to WordPress development, you may count on our expert WordPress developers for the required service without any hesitation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.1. How do third-party cookies work?

Third-party browser cookies are set by a third-party server through a code placed on the web domain by the owner of that specific domain. The data accumulated on third-party cookies can be accessed on any website that loads the third-party server’s code.

Q.2. What is Google’s FloC?

Based on machine learning, Google’s FloC is an alternate option to third-party cookies. This tracking technology allows the web browser, in fact, any browser, to anonymously study how users are browsing and then categorize them in cohorts.

Q.3. Should I block third-party cookies?

Disabling third-party cookies in your web browser can prevent some types of tracking by advertisers and third parties. This improves your user privacy and security. It’s always good to clear out third-party cookies regularly. For those who have invested in WordPress development, WordPress is planning to disable Google’s Floc, an alternative to third-party cookies, by default.

Have More Questions? Feel Free to Ask Our WordPress Developers Right Away!