The tech giant might disrupt many privacy & security aspects of our online life with this move.
Google Chrome is still the dominant market leader in the race between web browsers for both mobile & desktop interfaces. For the last couple of months, Google was planning to do away with the current Manifest V2 platform for all of its supported extensions, in favor of the new V3 platform.
When the official announcement was made last year, it drew heavy criticism from many experts. Many are concerned that this platform would render ad-blockers completely useless on Chrome browsers. Google claims that the new platform would have more security, privacy & performance upgrades under the hood.
A Deeper Dive at the Controversy
According to the Blockthrough survey of 2021, almost 40% of the US online population uses an adblocker. With the advent of the Manifest V3 platform, internet users are concerned with losing the freedom to use adblocking extensions like Ghostery, uBlock, Adguard, etc.
A lot of current adblockers cannot function without Chrome’s in-built API. This in turn causes a delay in website loading. Google wants to prevent this issue in the coming years. One can make a strong case that, the search giant wants to double down on advertising money by not letting users bypass online ads.
The privacy support group EFF, believes the upcoming extension would make an internet user’s browsing experience less free & customizable.
Unfortunately, all the existing V2-supported Chrome extensions would be unsupported in the new V3 platform, limiting the ability of certain extensions. The testing phase begins with Chrome 115, to be released in June 2023.
Business users can rejoice in the fact that they will have Manifest V2 support till 2024.
Only time will tell whether this new platform will change things for the better or worse. However, one should not forget that Chrome does not have a monopoly & users have a lot of browsers to choose from if things get awry.