WordPress may automatically disable Google FLoC on websites

WordPress announced today that they are treating Google’s new FLoC tracking technology as a security concern and may block it by default on WordPress sites.

For some time, browsers have begun to increasingly block third-party browser cookies [1, 2, 3] used by advertisers for interest-based advertising.

In response, Google introduced a new ad tracking technology called Federated Learning of Cohorts, or FLoC, that uses a web browser to anonymously place users into interest or behavioral buckets based on how they browse the web.

After Google began testing FLoC this month in Google Chrome, there has been a consensus among privacy advocates that Google’s FLoC implementation just replaces one privacy risk with another one.

[…]

“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 plans to disable FLoC using the following four lines of code, which will cause the blogging platform to issue a HTTP request header tells the browser that FLoC should be disabled for the site.

function disable_floc($headers) {
    $headers['Permissions-Policy'] = 'interest-cohort=()';
    return $headers;
  }
 
add_filter('wp_headers', 'disable_floc');

WordPress explains that though some admins will likely want to enable this technology, those admins probably have the tech know-how to override the above code. WordPress also indicated that they might add a setting that allows admins to control whether FLoC is permitted.

However, WordPress’s concern is that those unaware of this new tracking technology will automatically opt into it without fully understanding what it entails. Therefore, it is in these users’ best interest for WordPress to automatically disable the technology.

[…]

Source: WordPress may automatically disable Google FLoC on websites

Let’s hope they implement this, but if not, then at least we know how to implement it ourselves.

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