Google Chrome will soon ad-block an entire website if it shows abusive ads

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Google Chrome update 71 will be out this December
  • This isn’t the first time Google is going after abusive behaviour on Chrome

Google’s Chrome 71 update, due for a December release this year, will actively discourage what it calls “abusive experiences” on the internet. The global search engine giant is stepping up its game against abusive ads by giving users the control to first flag them off, and then blocking such ads on a website that continues to show them even after a warning. The updated Chrome browser 71 will enable this feature by default although users will also have the option to manually turn it off.

The behaviour deemed abusive spans multiple categories ranging from fake messages, unexpected click areas, misleading site behaviour, phishing, auto redirects, to malware and unwanted software. “An abusive experience is designed to mislead website visitors. For example, auto-redirects that take visitors to a new page without any action on their part is an abusive experience. So are ads that are designed to mislead or trick users into interacting with them,” Google notes.

Starting December, Google will give site owners a 30 day grace period, to sort of clean their act after an abusive behaviour is reported. Failure to comply will result in Google’s Chrome (71) blocking every ad on the said website, regardless of whether they fall into the abusive category or not.

This isn’t the first time Google is going after abusive behaviour on Chrome. The Google-owned browser already blocks or at least tries to block certain popups. This was part of updated version 68 which was rolled out in July this year. Chrome also tries to limit autoplay of videos, among other things. But then ads find a way out somehow, and manage to show up every now and then much to the dismay of Chrome users. Chrome 71 will up the ante some more, although it is yet to be seen if it succeeds in banishing obtrusive ads altogether for a more safe and secure web browsing experience.

Other companies like Mozilla are also doing their bit for the cause. Its all new Firefox 63 update packs Enhanced Tracking Protection designed specifically for those looking for more privacy, across the board, and not just limited to incognito. More specifically, the Firefox 63 update allows users to block cookies and storage access from third-party trackers.

With majority of tech companies relying heavily on targeted ads for revenue, the number of such ads has also gone up in recent times. While some of them may be useful, targeted ads at large, are considered an intrusion to user privacy. And with more and more data scandals creeping up, there’s growing demand from users for tech companies to take responsibility of this data and protect it.