GOOGLE HAS BECOME the latest browser maker to go a bit medieval on tracking your browsing habits, with an announcement of better cooking blocking in Chrome.
Google claims to be "raising the bar on transparency" with a more granular approach to tracking cookies, including providing more details on exactly what each one is for.
Additionally, there are going to be changes to exactly how cookies work. Developers will now be required to show exactly what each cookie does and most importantly if they work across websites, meaning that they can be used to get a holistic picture of your browsing bants.
Says Google: "This change will enable users to clear all such cookies while leaving single domain cookies unaffected, preserving user logins and settings. It will also enable browsers to provide clear information about which sites are setting these cookies, so users can make informed choices about how their data is used."
Google is also working on improvements to the detection of fingerprinting techniques, which can result is a serious loss of privacy to users, once implemented.
The news follows hot on the heels of Mozilla, which last week announced a crackdown on tracking that's rolling out to its Firefox browser.
Mozilla is already tackling fingerprinting using a technique lifted from secure browser and runtime Tor.
Google says: "Because fingerprinting is neither transparent nor under the user's control, it results in tracking that doesn't respect user choice. This is why Chrome plans to more aggressively restrict fingerprinting across the web. One way in which we'll be doing this is reducing the ways in which browsers can be passively fingerprinted, so that we can detect and intervene against active fingerprinting efforts as they happen."
Google adds that it isn't oblivious to the fact that cookies and fingerprinting can have positive effects, and so says it is committed to finding ways to enable these positive uses, and even develop them, whilst blocking the nefarious ones.
The new controls will be coming to Google Chrome later this year. It's not known if other Chromium browsers like Opera, Vivaldi and the relaunched Microsoft Edge will also benefit from these features.
Of course, one of the main uses of cookies in the EU is for the annoying GDPR pop-ups - anyone would think it was a slight swipe at its harshest critic... μ
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