Google Chrome’s New Update Unleashes Ad Blocker Freedom

Google Chrome’s New Update Unleashes Ad Blocker Freedom

Published: November 17, 2023

Google has unveiled updates to its Manifest V3, the latest version of the Chrome extension specification, addressing concerns regarding limitations on ad blockers.

Previously paused, the transition to Manifest V3 will now proceed with notable changes.

One significant modification is the introduction of "improved content filtering support" for the Declarative Net Request API, commonly used by ad-blocking extensions.

Google had initially suggested restrictions on this API's functionality due to security concerns, potentially affecting ad-blocker effectiveness across Chromium-based browsers, including Chrome and Microsoft Edge.

Manifest V3 informs browsers about extension details such as name, version, permissions and browser compatibility.

Despite pushback from developers and privacy advocates, Google will phase out Manifest V2, automatically disabling Manifest V2 extensions in users' browsers by June 2024.

While receiving positive feedback from AdGuard's CTO Andrey Meshkov, who told the Verge he anticipates improved filtering quality, concerns persist.

Adding to the mix, Alexei Miagkov, Senior Staff Technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, asserts that Manifest V3 still imposes unnecessary limitations on developers.

Despite these adjustments, Google's recent actions towards ad-blockers have been less accommodating.

In October, YouTube initiated a global crackdown on ad-blockers, restricting some users from watching videos with these extensions enabled.

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