Amazon is blocking Google’s controversial cookieless tracking and targeting method.
NB: This is an article from Digiday
Most of Amazon’s properties including Amazon.com, WholeFoods.com and Zappos.com are preventing Google’s tracking system FLoC — or Federated Learning of Cohorts — from gathering valuable data reflecting the products people research in Amazon’s vast e-commerce universe, according to website code analyzed by Digiday and three technology experts who helped Digiday review the code.
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Amazon declined to comment on this story.
As Google’s system gathers data about people’s web travels to inform how it categorizes them, Amazon’s under-the-radar move could not only be a significant blow to Google’s mission to guide the future of digital ad tracking after cookies die — it could give Amazon a leg up in its own efforts to sell advertising across what’s left of the open web.
“This move is in direct correlation with Google’s attempt to provide an alternative to the third-party cookie,” said Amanda Martin, vp of enterprise partnerships at digital agency Goodway Group. She called Amazon’s choice to block FLoC on most of its sites another example of the chess moves Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon are making as data privacy pressures force the destructionof the foundation of data tracking across the internet: the third party cookie.
With the help of three technologists, Digiday watched last week as Amazon added code to its digital properties to block FLoC from tracking visitors using Google’s Chrome browser. For example, while earlier in the week WholeFoods.com and Woot.com did not include code to block FLoC, by Thursday Digiday saw that those sites did feature code telling Google’s system not to include activities of their visitors to inform cohorts or assign IDs. But Amazon’s blocking appears scattered. While one of the technologists saw both of those sites blocking FLoC, another did not, and said Amazon’s deployment could be evident on different servers in different parts of the country.