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Google promises to stop tracking individual users soon

The online search giant said on Wednesday it will test its new audience group-based ad targeting system with select advertisers starting in the second quarter of this year.

So-called “third party” cookies are small text files that collect data as you browse, and are used to target users with highly personalized ads. Synonyms for continuous tracking, they inspire a growing disgust, to the point that Europe and California, in particular, have adopted laws to better protect the confidentiality of personal information.

“Today we are explicitly saying that once third party cookies are deleted, we will not build alternative identifiers to track individuals as they surf the web, nor will we use them in our products.” David Temkin, head of advertising products and privacy at Google, said in a statement.

The Californian group is working on a different system, supposed to improve privacy. Instead of targeting Internet users individually, advertisers will target audience segments – the “FLoCs” – comprising hundreds or thousands of people. Google will define these segments based on user navigation.

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