Browser cookies, especially cross-domain cookies, make it easy to track people across the internet and collect data for targeted advertisements. That’s why many browsers now block third-party cookies, from Firefox to Vivaldi, and Google has been trying to build a replacement that addresses some privacy concerns. The company’s first attempt didn’t work out well, so Google is trying again with Topics API.
Similar to the earlier FLoC design, it uses your browser to locally generate groups that advertisers can target, but now it’s based on specific topics instead of grouping people that share an interest in multiple topics together. Even though the new technology might be an improvement over FloC, it likely won’t be much more popular.
It does cost real money to host any online service, so we either get it "free" with adverts that ideally do not track us, otherwise some donates to cover the service, or we pay subscriptions. Once a service scales up to the size of Google services, donations usually don't cover it. But ultimately, both FLoC and Topics API are probably better than the cookies we have right now. Ban advertising, and large chunks of popular services will just disappear off the Internet.
See Google has a new plan for replacing browser cookies with 'Topics API'
Google has announced the Topics API, its replacement for the Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) proposal that aimed to replace cookies.