What is Google Topics?

Google describes Topics as “a new Privacy Sandbox proposal for interest-based advertising.” It’s a new technology that will let websites serve ads based on the user’s interests without actually collecting a massive amount of data about the user. Topics are supposed to significantly improve user privacy, according to Google.

For Topics to work, Chrome will determine the topics representing your internet activity. Topics might include things like “Fitness,” “Travel & Transportation,” and “Sports.” The browser will collect the top Topics of the week and keep the information from your past three weeks. Topics will delete old ones. Everything happens on-device, so the Topics will not reach external servers, not even Google’s.

Importantly, Google says that Topics will not include sensitive categories, like gender or race. This is already an improvement compared to FLoC. One of the prevalent criticism for that technology was that FLoC might have exposed sensitive interests.

When you reach a site that supports the feature, Topics will pick just three topics from your past three weeks. Each Topic will reflect one of these weeks. The site and advertising partners will get that information. As a result, the ads shown will reflect one of those topics.