Following widespread criticism of its previous suggestions, Google announced a fresh plan on Tuesday to stop using small data files known as cookies to track people’s internet browsing patterns.

Google was fined 150 million euros ($169 million) by France earlier this month for its cookie policy, putting pressure on US tech titans to reform their data collection practices.

Privacy advocates have fought tooth and nail against the use of cookies, which send users’ personal information to hundreds of companies every time they visit a website.

However, the information kind is the backbone of the internet advertising industry, and it has shown to be extremely beneficial to Google and their prospects.

The company announced on Tuesday that it will test a new system called “Topics,” which it claims will protect privacy while allowing targeted advertising.

Chrome clients will continue to be tracked, as will the websites they visit, and advertising partners will be assigned three subjects depending on the customer’s browsing history.

However, the agency stated that the process of creating subjects would take place entirely on the user’s device, and that even Google would not have access.

Advertisers will only be able to keep the subjects for three weeks, and Chrome users may have the option to opt out completely.

“Topics” replaces Google’s earlier concept of “Federated Learning of Cohorts,” which caused consternation among marketers and the media industry.

The FLoC approach, according to critics, would allow Google to retain customer data and keep third parties out of the loop.

“Topics was informed by our learning and widespread community feedback from our previous FLoC trials, and it replaces our FLoC proposal,” said Vinay Goel, a senior Google executive.

Since the EU passed a massive data privacy law in 2018, internet companies have been subjected to stricter requirements, requiring them to obtain direct agreement from users before installing cookies on their computers.

Privacy advocates have filed numerous complaints against companies such as Google and Facebook, claiming that they make it much easier to opt in than to opt out.


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