Google Criticized For Limiting Adblockers To Chrome

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Google: The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) released on Tuesday (14) a statement with heavy criticism of Manifest v3, new API format that should soon be the only adopted by Google Chrome extensions. The standard aims to improve the privacy, security and performance of the browser, as defended by the search giant.

However, according to experts at the non-profit organization Alexei Miagkov and Bennett Cyphers, the change has other purposes. They believe the format was created to limit the operation of adblockers, extensions that make it possible to block ads in Chrome, one of the main sources of income for the Mountain View company.

“We fundamentally disagree. The changes in Manifest v3 will not stop malicious extensions, but they will hamper innovation, reduce extension capabilities, and degrade performance in the real world,” explained EFF representatives. The new protocol replaces the “webRequest” API, considered more complete, by the limited “declarativeNetRequest”.

For them, the ideal would be for Chrome to offer developers the option to choose between these two APIs, according to the needs of each product, rather than forcing the use of the newer one. The entity also claims that the change will affect functionalities of other types of extensions, considering it a setback.

Manifest v2 will be deactivated in 2023

Currently used in conjunction with Manifest v3, the Manifest v2 format will begin to be limited in 2022, when new extensions will no longer support it. As early as January 2023, the standard will no longer work, requiring adoption of the latest version.

According to Google, the reduction in the capabilities of the extensions promoted by the new format is necessary to hinder the powers of observation and alteration of content in Chrome. Big tech claims this will increase security by preventing the extensions from being used for cyber attacks and other malicious activities.