Google rolls out Privacy Guide to Chrome desktop users

To give users more insight into their privacy settings, Google has come up with a Privacy Guide. The search engine giant will roll out this feature in the coming week to desktop users who work with the Chrome web browser. Anyone can leave feedback. Based on this, the Privacy Guide may receive setting options in the future.

Google writes this in a blog.

Google knows everything about us through tracking cookies

Google and privacy are rarely mentioned in the same breath. After all, Google is a company that makes its money by collecting as much data from users as possible. The search giant uses this data to create user profiles. Google in turn sells these profiles to operators of major advertising networks, such as Meta.

The idea behind this method is that Google can serve person-oriented advertisements. The more personal an online ad is, the more likely it will result in additional sales. And therefore more turnover and higher profit figures. We also call this conversion rate.

To learn so much about users, Google developed tracking cookies. With this, the internet company follows very closely what someone is up to on the internet. This type of cookie tells, among other things, which searches a person performs, which sites he visits and how long he stays there. Google knows exactly where your interests lie.

This is what you need to know about Privacy Guide

This method has been criticized for several years now. Research from the Pew Research Center shows that three-quarters of all internet users feel that they are constantly being followed online. “This has led to an erosion of trust,” Google said last year.

That does not leave the Mountain View-based tech company untouched. To show that the company can be open and transparent, the Google Safety Engineering Center (GSEC) has developed a Privacy Guide. Simply put, it’s an extra tab that pops up when desktop users open Chrome’s settings menu.

You can see Privacy Guide as a kind of step-by-step plan that guides you through the various privacy settings. It briefly explains the various options and gives you the option to turn them on and off.

Privacy Guide available in a few weeks

“When you navigate through the Privacy Guide, you learn all about the ‘why’ behind each setting and how it affects your browsing experience. This way you better understand what is happening,” writes Google in a blog about the new privacy feature. Privacy Guide tells you more about the use of cookies, synchronization of your browsing history, safe internet browsing, and searches.

Google will roll out Privacy Guide in the coming weeks to desktop users who use Chrome as a web browser. The technology company offers everyone the opportunity to leave feedback. Based on these responses, Google may add new privacy settings to Privacy Guide in the future.

The prerequisite is that desktop users must install Chrome version 100 to use Privacy Guide.

Privacy Sandbox and FLoC

Privacy Guide is not Google’s only measure to regain users’ trust in Google’s services. Last year the internet company came up with the Privacy Sandbox. With this, Google wants to strike a balance between offering targeted advertisements on the one hand, and the right of internet users to anonymity on the other.

Instead of closely monitoring internet users online with tracking cookies, they are placed in cohorts: a group of people who share common characteristics. To teach Chrome to develop such cohorts, Google has come up with ‘Federated Learning of Cohorts’ or FLoC.

Initially, Google wanted to make it impossible to place tracking cookies at the end of last year. The implementation of the Privacy Sandbox and FLoC has been postponed to the end of 2023 for the time being. Would you like to learn more about these new technologies? Then read our article ‘What is Google FLoC and should you block it?’ 

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