Google has explained the proposed changes to Chrome that would limit the operation of adblockers. According to the search company, the adjustments ensure that extensions do not get full access to all sensitive data from users.
Google claims not to prevent the development of adblockers and also not to prevent users from blocking advertisements. “We want to help developers, including content blockers, write extensions in a way that protects user privacy,” said Google, repeating earlier arguments.
According to the company, the advent of the declarative NetRequest API, which replaces parts of the web request API, means that extensions no longer have access to all sensitive user data. The operation of many adblockers is based on the use of the webRequest api. Google claims that users are allowing Chrome to get all network requests through the extensions, “including e-mail, photos, and other sensitive information.” With the declarative NetRequest API this would not be the case and the overhead would also decrease, resulting in better performance.
Google does not substantively address the criticisms of adblockers that the changes will seriously hamper their work and the company also does not seem to accommodate those parties. For example, uBlock Origin claims that the changes limit the number of adblocking filters to be used to thirty thousand while that extension uses more than ninety thousand filters. Google proposed the changes in October last year under the name Manifest V3.