Google has proposed to make security changes to the Chrome browser that could essentially make some ad-blockers useless, prompting complaints from software developers.
Google plans to change to its Chrome browser this year that would limit how browser extensions built by outside developers can interact with websites. Although Google says the changes are aimed at improving security and privacy for Chrome users, some ad blocker software makers say the move will render their tools useless, while benefiting Google’s online advertising business.
“Whether Google does this to protect their advertising business or simply to force its own rules on everyone else, it would be nothing less than another case of misuse of its market-dominating position,” Jeremy Tillman, director of product at Ghostery, which builds a popular ad blocker.
Others said the update would make it far harder for users to stop firms tracking them online and make it easier for them to be bombarded with ads.
Google says it is still working with developers on the proposal and wants to make sure all “fundamental use cases” will still be possible.
Google’s Chrome dominates the market for desktop web browsers. The company makes most of its revenue through online advertising, which relies on users seeing ads as they surf the web.