Google made a plethora of announcements at its I/O 2019 keynote and repeatedly stressed on the importance of privacy and how it is a key point of consideration in all Google products. Along with the new tools coming to Search and other Google products for helping users take control of their data, the company is also bringing some new protections and controls in Chrome. Google says that it is improving cookie controls so that users can clear or block third-party cookies. This feature will be implemented such that first-party cookies aren’t affected, which means users won’t be logged out of banking sites if they have opted for such first-party trackers.
Additionally, Google will also aggressively restrict fingerprinting across the web. Fingerprinting is an opaque tracking method used by sites to track users even when they opt out of third-party tracking. “Google doesn’t use fingerprinting for ads personalization because it doesn't allow reasonable user control and transparency. Nor do we let others bring fingerprinting data into our advertising products,” reads Google’s blog post. Developers will also be required to specify cross-website cookies that could be used to track users.
Users will also get to know about what data is being used to serve them personalised ads and the companies that are involved in the process. Ads shown on Google’s own domain and its publishing partner’s domain will show new info via an open-source browser extension that will work for different browsers. The extension will also show the companies that are involved in tailoring a particular ad for the user, along with how the companies have ad trackers in an ad. Users will also get to see a consolidated summary of all the ads Google showed them recently.
These new privacy-centric announcements add to the ones made earlier. Google announced a new incognito mode for Search and Maps. The feature can be toggled on or off and will enable users to have more control over when the Google service is collecting data.