Vivaldi Technologies has introduced a new version of its browser – Vivaldi 3.8 (desktop pc and Android)… The main changes concern safety and usability. For example, they blocked Google FLoC technology in the browser, and also implemented our own development of Cookie Crumbler, which helps to avoid annoying cookie warnings.
Version 3.8 disables Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC), a technology created by Google to replace third-party cookies. FLoC analyzes the behavior of each user and assigns him to a specific “cohort”, a group – for example when searching for drugs. At the same time, information about the interests and behavior, the estimated age, and character traits of the user becomes available to any site, and Google gets the opportunity to analyze in detail the data of all “cohorts”.
“Often, users automatically accept cookies without realizing that they are giving permission to collect information about themselves,” says Jon von Techner, founder of Vivaldi Technologies. – Some websites do not work without cookies, which puts users in a stalemate. I believe this user data collection system should finally be abolished. No one has the right to collect information about you with yours and, moreover, without your permission. “
As we wrote earlier, the FLoC technology itself and the idea of replacing third-party cookies with it did not find support in the industry. Google’s technology has been criticized and rejected by many big players, including EFF, Microsoft, Mozilla Firefox, Brave, WordPress, and DuckDuckGo:
- EFF experts immediately criticized the technology, calling it a “terrible idea»;
- the authors of Vivaldi and Brave announced that they are abandoning the use of FLoC in their browsers;
- DuckDuckGo blocks FLoC with the Privacy Essentials Chrome Extension
- WordPress is discussing automatic blocking of FLoC on sites powered by this CMS;
- Apple hasn’t made any official announcements about FLoC, but Safari developer John Wilander reported that while the company intends to wait and see what happens next;
- Edge developers also took a wait-and-see attitude,
- GitHub has banned FLoC for * .github.com and GitHub Pages sites (hosted on * .github.io).
Initially, the regulation was created to protect the personal data of users, but this has led to the appearance of messages and pop-ups in which it is necessary to indicate what types of data can be collected. This significantly slows down the Internet and annoys users, the developers of Vivaldi say, so the ability to configure the browser so that it does it on its own is very useful.
Other changes in the new version affected the interface and work with bookmarks. Panels, located by default on the left side of the browser window, have learned how to change transparency. The image that appears from under the transparent panels is also selectable. At the same time, a blur effect, contrast adjustment, and a few more features appeared in the theme settings.
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