Earlier in this year, Google added Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) support to Gmail. AMP made…
Google defended all the claims on it killing the adblockers with the latest update to Chrome Browser. Search Giant “Google” came up with Manifest V3 a proposal to replace the existing Web Request API with Declarative NetRequest API. With this, the company can limit ad blocking capabilities of Browser Extensions. Google is making sure that the extensions respect the privacy of the user.
Retirement of Web Request API is to boost up the Privacy, Performance and Security of its Extensions. Many of the adblockers raised voice against Google’s Move but Google opposes by saying that it has taken the decision for a great cause. Google clarifies in a detailed Blog Post that the new move is to bring faster Web Browsing Experience at last. Shifting to New Extension is even to enable the developers to build better performing adblockers.
The Company faced huge criticism for restricting Adblockers via its New API. Later, it disclosed that it’s going to support full Adblock features when it comes to enterprise users but through a blocked version. Google highlighted that instead of entirely killing the adblockers on Chrome shifting to new extension API makes it safer for users.
Former Web Request API allows extensions to read, access and manipulate what a user does on the browser. However, Declarative Web Request API rules limit the usage of user’s information.
Usually, Web Request API needs the Chrome Browser to send data in network request to the extension. This data can be sensitive such as emails, photos. Google claims access to sensitive data led to malware activities on the web. It even added that 42% of malicious extensions found last year used Web Request API.
Apart from providing access to user’s information, Web Request API is also having a significant impact on the browsers. On the other hand, Declarative Net API will bring remarkable performance implications and also provide user privacy and security.
Google even says that an extension need not use or access user’s sensitive data in order to block content. However, it also says that the new API will enable extensions to block content without requiring user’s private data.
As Declarative Net Request API is limited it can’t modify or kill privacy-invading requests. It is working with Outside Developers on the same issue. Google in its blog posts said that Declarative Net Request API is in very much in design and development and is open to accept feedback from the community.
Developers are complaining about the limit of 30,00 rules under Declarative Net Request API. They are requesting Google to increase the limit so that they can block a large number of content elements. Google’s Vincent says they are bringing changes in the rules to limit from 30,00 per extension to the global maximum of 1,50,000.
Vincent mentions “We are actively exploring other ways to expand this API, including adding methods to get feedback about matched rules, and support for richer redirects leveraging URL manipulation and regular expression.” He also adds about the misconceptions going around that Google took this move to weaken the Ad Blockers, but this is not the goal.
Google didn’t claim any specific time scale from which new rules will come into effect. The Company is saying that it is making possible changes and exploring other ways to expand New API. Before the formal launch, Google is planning to consider the developer feedback to bring neutral experience for extension developers.
The Company excludes enterprise and educational customers even after the changes. There are questions roaming around if such a huge number of customers can be exempted why not everyone. Google is striving its best to safeguard user’s private information from the third party developers. So that effective anti-tracking extensions and ad blockers will come into existence.