Google Chrome To Offer Website Cookies Controls, Report Claims
Dhir Acharya - May 07, 2019
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Google is expected to announce the move this week, at its I/O conference. It is likely that Google Chrome’s billion-plus users will be able to see what cookies they are being tracked by and they will also have the ability to limit their use, as cited by the report from a source familiar with this plan. So the move will impact on third-party cookies which companies like traffic analytics firms and advertisers place rather than the website’s operator.
With stronger controls over cookie blocking, Chrome will be able to compete with Mozilla Firefox, Apple’s browser Safari and Brave from Brave Software that all have had cookie blocking controls. Considering the 2017 Equifax data breach and Facebook’s 2018 Cambridge Analytica scandal, the tech industry and users have become better aware of how little privacy we have on the Internet.
Google refused to give comments on both the report and the plans for Chrome’s tracking protection.
Another tech giant, Microsoft, is also working on better privacy protection. On Monday, during the Build conference, Microsoft revealed a new privacy feature for its Edge browser which allows users to pick strict, balanced, and unrestricted controls on trackers and cookies. Now, Edge is built on Chromium, the open-source Chrome foundation of Google. Analytics company StatCounter pointed out that Google Chrome accounts for 63 percent of browser usage.
Blocking cookies and tracking can make websites render incorrectly, so blocking tools offer options for configuration and override. Meanwhile, web developers are working to avoid track blockers, such as AirDXP offering tracking services without cookies.
However, this brings more troubles for Google. The company offers not only a browser but also online ads and web services. Curtailing cookies on Chrome can hurt its advertising business. But the damage Google may suffer is much smaller than that for other companies because it’s able to place first-party cookies on its web properties, others can’t.
Also, the tech giant has many other ways to keep tracking users through websites as well as Android phones, such as location and queries data. So after all, this action seems to raise antitrust concerns about its Chrome and advertising.