In late October 2018, Google announced that the famous search engine is updating its policy and software to prevent misuse and unintentional problems. One of the most affected parts of the browser update is the extensions – as the company has taken steps to increase security processes to make sure that both users and developers will not abuse the feature.
However, developers widely criticized the move saying the changes will cripple extensions to block ads and is also counterintuitive to the security improvement it aims to achieve with the change.
The changes, called Manifest v3, were first proposed and announced late last years, many developers started to notice the changes for ad blockers last January. Developers around the world have spoken up against the changes and their potential to limit extensions’ capability to block unwanted ads.
Last week, Google assured developers by announcing their plan to revise Manifest v3 to ensure them that they do not want to remove ad blockers in the browser.
Devlin Cronin, a software engineer on the Chrome team, wrote in a Google Groups post last week, that the team’s intention was never to prevent or break content blocking. “We are committed to preserving that ecosystem and ensuring that users can continue to customize the Chrome browser to meet their needs. This includes continuing to support extensions, including content blockers, developer tools, accessibility features, and many others, ” he added.
The Manifest v3 intends to design a software update for Chrome to improve its extensions’ performance, privacy, and security. However, the backlash that it received over the proposed updates highlight the search giant’s scale and dominance. According to Stat Counter, Chrome, which has 1 billion users around the world, accounts for 62% of global website usage.
“These changes are in the design process,” a Google spokeswoman said in a statement. “We want to make sure all fundamental use cases — including content blockers — are still possible with these changes and are working with extension developers to make sure their extensions continue to work while optimizing the extensions platform and better protecting our users.”
Ghosterly, one of the ad blocked developers that staunchly opposed the planned changes on Google’s flagship browser, have triggered Google’s Cronin to make the clarification post. Ghosterly released a study last week that said that extensions would only impact Chrome’s performance for only about a tenth of a millisecond.
Rumors from a trusted source said that the methodology employed by Ghosterly is questionable noting that the said Cronin’s post was not a response to the study. /apr