The debate over Google’s replacement for third-party tracking is red-hot this week, with a number of tech firms speaking out in sharp criticism of “FLoC”, the search giant’s new tracking toy that is supposed to put “privacy first”.

It has been a little over a year since Google broke the news that it would be phasing out third-party cookies on its browser, Chrome. This was January 2020, a period known as the Before Times, before lockdown and load-shedding tetris, before weekly family meetings with Uncle Cyril. Honestly, it feels like 100 years ago. ..

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