Of all the features that Google Chrome comes with, perhaps one of the most important is support for extensions, which are small plugins that can be ‘added’ to the browser to extend its functionality. There are thousands of extensions available on the Chrome Web Store, with ‘adblockers’ arguably being the most popular of them. As their name suggests, adblockers prevent advertisements on webpages from getting loaded, thus making for a faster and clutter-free web browsing experience. However, that could change soon, since it was recently reported that Google is planning to make some changes to Chrome’s API that will ‘break’ adblocking extensions. Now, if a new report is to be believed, it seems the impact will be much bigger.
According to a report by ZDNet, if Google goes through with the changes its planning, the API modifications will not only affect adblockers, but also extensions related to antivirus products, parental control software, and even privacy apps. Developers of extensions from publishers like F-Secure and NoScript noted their concerns after learning of the upcoming API changes to Google Chrome. Raymond Hill, the developer of popular adblockers uBlock Origin and uMatrix also raised this issue with Google Chrome developers recently. Hill said that the new APIs would reduce adblocking extensions’ capabilities to block certain scripts, including some scripts that are used by advertising companies.
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“In addition to adblocking this seems to affect also security software that rely on extension capabilities of dynamically blocking https traffic that is rated as malicious or otherwise harmful for user,” Jouni Korte, Senior Software Engineer at F-Secure (a Finnish cyber security company), was quoted as saying by the ZDNet report.