Google Could Restrict Modern Ad-Blocking Chrome Extensions to Enterprise Users

It may be time to find a new browser. 9to5Google is reporting that Chrome is deprecating the blocking capabilities of the webRequest API, which popular ad blockers rely on to function (blocking ads before they’re downloaded). It will only be available to enterprise deployments.

“Google is essentially saying that Chrome will still have the capability to block unwanted content, but this will be restricted to only paid, enterprise users of Chrome. This is likely to allow enterprise customers to develop in-house Chrome extensions, not for ad blocking usage.”

There’s an alternative system called “declarativeNetRequest” that ad blockers can switch to, but it’s less effective because that method only allows a limit of 30,000 rules. Modern blockers use more than twice that amount.

Google says they’re still trying to work things out.

“Chrome supports the use and development of ad blockers. We’re actively working with the developer community to get feedback and iterate on the design of a privacy-preserving content filtering system that limits the amount of sensitive browser data shared with third parties.”

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