This plugin adds an HTTP header to your WordPress website that disables Google’s Topics API tracking. The following header will be added:
If an existing ‘browsing-topics’ value is found, the plugin will not change that value or add an additional one.
More information about the Topics API and it’s predecessor “FLoC” can be found here:
What is Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC)?
Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC)
Google’s FLoC Is a Terrible Idea
Block FLoC With Duckduckgo
Am I FLoCed?
Google’s Topics API: Rebranding FLoC Without Addressing Key Privacy Issues
The Topics API
This plugin has no settings. Simply install and activate it to exlude your website from Topics API calculations.
I’m not using Chrome, why would I use this plugin?
This plugin does not exclude you (as a user of the web) from Topics API tracking. It excludes your website, and thus protects your website’s visitors. Many of them will probably use Chrome.
How can I check if this plugin works?
This plugin attempts to add an HTTP header. You can use your browser’s Dev Tools to check whether it gets added properly.
- Visit any page on your site using the browser of your choice.
- Press F12, or right-click anywhere on the page and click “Inspect element”.
- Switch to the network tab in the newly opened development tools pane.
- Turn on recording (if it’s not already active), and reload the page.
- You’ll see a number of requests appear as a list. The top one is usually the page itself.
- Click that line to open up its properties.
- Look for the header under “Response headers”.
I’ve also set up an online FLoC header checker. Simply enter your website’s homepage URL to see of the header is present.
I don’t see the header, what could be wrong?
HTTP headers can get added and/or removed on many levels in the server stack.
- By WordPress itself (which is what this plugin attempts).
- By the web server (NGINX, Apache, etc).
- By caching layers, proxies, etc.
Please note that there’s a known issue with many page caching plugins where the ‘hook’ that this plugin uses does not work. This is a fundamental issue in WordPress and not something that’s easy to work around. If the header does not get added by this plugin, your best option is to see if it can be added on one of the other levels. Or ask your system administrator to do this for you.
If you’re using WP Super Cache, make sure the ‘Cache HTTP headers with page content’ option is checked.
Contributors & Developers
“Disable Topics API” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.Contributors
- Modified the header to disable the new Topics API, since the FLoC experiment has officially ended.
- Added support for WP Super Cache when the ‘Cache HTTP headers with page content’ option is checked.
- Code refactor, including some fixes.
- Added an FAQ to the readme.txt.
- Initial release.