Friday, 31 May 2019 10:43

Soon, Chrome will block ads only for business users: report Featured

Soon, Chrome will block ads only for business users: report Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Google's Chrome browser, which is the most widely used browser worldwide, will remove most of its ad-blocking ability for all but business users, a report claims.

The proposal to do so was initially made in January and the company apparently intends to go through with it, according to the website 9to5Google.

Google will do this by halting the ability of an API, the webRequest API, to block a request before it is loaded. Ad blockers like uBlock Origin will not work because of this.

The change has been christened Manifest V3 by Google. In a response to comments, mostly negative, made in response, the company's Simeon Vincent wrote:

"Chrome is deprecating the blocking capabilities of the webRequest API in Manifest V3, not the entire webRequest API (though blocking will still be available to enterprise deployments).

"Extensions with appropriate permissions can still observe network requests using the webRequest API. The webRequest API's ability to observe requests is foundational for extensions that modify their behaviour based on the patterns they observe at runtime."

Raymond Hill, the developer of uBlock Origin, an extension that is affected by these changes, pointed out on GitHub, that Google had said specifically in Manifest V3:

"In Manifest V3, we will strive to limit the blocking version of webRequest, potentially removing blocking options from most events (making them observational only).

"Content blockers should instead use declarativeNetRequest... It is unlikely this will account for 100% of use cases (e.g., onAuthRequired), so we will likely need to retain webRequest functionality in some form."

Hill also cited Google's 2018 SEC 10-K filing in which it said: "Technologies have been developed to make customisable ads more difficult or to block the display of ads altogether and some providers of online services have integrated technologies that could potentially impair the core functionality of third-party digital advertising.

"Most of our Google revenues are derived from fees paid to us in connection with the display of ads online. As a result, such technologies and tools could adversely affect our operating results."

Contacted for comment, a Google spokesperson said: “Chrome supports the use and development of ad blockers. We’re actively working with the developer community to get feedback and iterate on the design of a privacy-preserving content filtering system that limits the amount of sensitive browser data shared with third parties.

"For managed environments like businesses, we offer administration features at no charge.”


26-27 February 2020 | Hilton Brisbane

Connecting the region’s leading data analytics professionals to drive and inspire your future strategy

Leading the data analytics division has never been easy, but now the challenge is on to remain ahead of the competition and reap the massive rewards as a strategic executive.

Do you want to leverage data governance as an enabler?Are you working at driving AI/ML implementation?

Want to stay abreast of data privacy and AI ethics requirements? Are you working hard to push predictive analytics to the limits?

With so much to keep on top of in such a rapidly changing technology space, collaboration is key to success. You don't need to struggle alone, network and share your struggles as well as your tips for success at CDAO Brisbane.

Discover how your peers have tackled the very same issues you face daily. Network with over 140 of your peers and hear from the leading professionals in your industry. Leverage this community of data and analytics enthusiasts to advance your strategy to the next level.

Download the Agenda to find out more


Sam Varghese

website statistics

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.



Recent Comments