Skip to main content

Google is bringing anti-tracking tools to Chrome

(Image credit: Image Credit: Flickr / chriss)

Google has announced new upgrades to its Chrome web browser which it says will improve overall privacy without sacrificing user experience.

During its Google I/O conference, the company revealed changes to the way Chrome handles cookies, which are at the core of both elements – privacy and user experience.

Explaining the problem, Google says that some cookies keep users logged into emails and other services, while others are used to track users across the web and serve personalised advertising.

To the browser, all cookies look the same, so if a user deletes cookies, they're automatically logged out of all services and all of their online preferences are reset. That, as you might imagine, results in a less than ideal user experience.

To make the best of both worlds, Google announced more transparency over how websites use cookies, as well as simpler controls for cross-site cookies.

These features are set to go live “later this year”.

“We are making a number of upcoming changes to Chrome to enable these features, starting with modifying how cookies work so that developers need to explicitly specify which cookies are allowed to work across websites — and could be used to track users,” Google explains (opens in new tab).

“The mechanism we use builds on the web's SameSite cookie attribute, and you can find the technical details on web.dev (opens in new tab).”

In a few months, Chrome will ask devs to use the mechanism to access their cookies across sites. That will allow users to clear certain types of cookies, keeping them logged into services, if they so wish. It will also enable browsers to provide clear information about which sites are setting these cookies.

Developers can now start testing their sites, Google concluded.

Image Credit: Flickr / chriss

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.