A set of planned changes to Google Chrome as part of the new Chromium standard, Manifest v3, that dictates the development of Chrome has been rolled back after several weeks of outrage by privacy activists and ad-blocker developers.
The centre of the dispute is Google’s planned changes to Chrome API that would stop browser extensions from changing the data they receive from the websites, which the ad-blocking software will be able to detect an ad but stop it from displaying. This ability is also used by ad-blockers to scripts that track the users.
One of the justifications provided by Google for the changes was that such extensions significantly reduces the page load speeds and affects user experience, something that developers argue is not true.
Developers argued that the changes to the API limiting the number of network requests that could be intercepted by an extension meant that all third-party ad-blockers would become ineffective while Google’s own in-built adblocker would remain ineffective.
The outrage was further fuelled by the fact that Google stands to gain by such a move that could reduce the effectiveness of ad-blockers considering
Chrome Ad-blockers don’t affect performance: Research
After a furore erupted following the announcement which led to Google censoring several comments on their discussion board, Ghostery conducted and published a study benchmarking the impact of ad-blockers.
According to the study, ad-blockers have a sub-millisecond impact on Chrome’s rendering speed and is negligible.
The study which tested several ad-blockers including Ghostery, Adblock Plus,
Google Chrome developer’s announced within hours of the report being published that the changes in question