Private web browsers really seem to be gaining more traction in 2019; and we are loving it!
For all the Chrome users out there (who Chrome claims makes up two-thirds of all global browser market share) this is good news as Google announced that it is all set to release new tools that will allow Chrome users to restrict companies to track your digital activities.
Google disclosed that it will be introducing two new privacy feature tools: by implementing better and more private cookie controls that limit advertisers from tracking your online browsing, and a new anti-fingerprinting technology to its browser.
Cookies, for those who still are not clear what they are, are text files stored by websites on PCs, typically used to track users. The cookies are made of tiny bits of information left on your computer or device to help websites or apps track what you do from one website to another. In the long run, advertisers are able to build a profile on you based on what you are doing on the sites you visit.
Chrome aims to restrict cross-site cookies from working across domains without obtaining explicit consent from the user. What this means is that advertisers would not be able to tracking your site activities without asking you first.
The tool will enable users to delete all undesired cookies, while leaving single domain cookies (such as those storing banking log-in credentials) unaffected, allowing users to make more informed decisions about how their data is used.
In its efforts to move towards limiting other tracking methods, an anti-browser fingerprinting tool will also be added.
Browser fingerprinting refers to the data that your browser is giving away to websites who want to collect information about the users’ devices, including screen size, resolution, plugins, extensions, model, and make.
All these create a unique fingerprint which is unique to your device which can be used to profile users and track each user as they go from website to website. And because it is not using cookies, websites are able to look at your browser fingerprint even when you are in incognito mode or private browsing.
Chrome’s introduction to the new privacy tools comes as a bid to stay ahead of the pack of its rival browsers which have been gaining ground by offering better privacy controls to users such as Firefox announcing protections against fingerprinting and cryptocurrency mining, Apple preventing cross-site tracking in Safari on Mac, and even up-and-coming new browsers like Brave, a privacy browser which rewards users tokens for safe browsing.