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Google Struggles To Justify Why It's Restricting Ad Blockers In Chrome

Saturday June 1, 2019. 02:10 AM , from Slashdot/Apple
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Vice News: Google has found itself under fire for plans to limit the effectiveness of popular ad blocking extensions in Chrome. While Google says the changes are necessary to protect the 'user experience' and improve extension security, developers and consumer advocates say the company's real motive is money and control. In the wake of ongoing backlash to the proposal, Chrome software security engineer Chris Palmer took to Twitter this week to claim the move was intended to help improve the end-user browsing experience, and paid enterprise users would be exempt from the changes.

Chrome security leader Justin Schuh also said the changes were driven by privacy and security concerns. Adblock developers, however, aren't buying it. uBlock Origin developer Raymond Hill, for example, argued this week that if user experience was the goal, there were other solutions that wouldn't hamstring existing extensions. 'Web pages load slow because of bloat, not because of the blocking ability of the webRequest API -- at least for well crafted extensions,' Hill said. Hill said that Google's motivation here had little to do with the end user experience, and far more to do with protecting advertising revenues from the rising popularity of adblock extensions. The team behind the EFF's Privacy Badger ad-blocking extension also spoke out against the changes. 'Google's claim that these new limitations are needed to improve performance is at odds with the state of the internet,' the organization said. 'Sites today are bloated with trackers that consume data and slow down the user experience. Tracker blockers have improved the performance and user experience of many sites and the user experience. Why not let independent developers innovate where the Chrome team isn't?'

Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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