Google Chrome Privacy Terms

New Privacy Concerns Raised over Recently Released Google Chrome 80

Sherin Sebastian
Sherin Sebastian/February 27, 2020

The latest update of Google chrome now results in some privacy concerns!! Chrome 80, which has been installed on hundreds of millions of computers and smartphones around the world, is now at some privacy risks.

Google has implemented a browser capability in chrome called ScrollToTextFragment, that enables deep links to web documents. ScrollToTextFragment feature allows Google to link a single word of text and its position on the page. It doesn’t require an anchor created by the site owner, which means anyone can develop a link to a particular piece of text.

Google explains this with an example;

“For example, the URL:

[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat#:~:text=On islands, birds can contribute as much as 60% of a cat’s diet]

This loads the page for Cat, highlights the specified text, and scrolls directly to it.”

Google justifies its action saying that it will allow the link-creator to specify which portion of the page is interesting without relying on author annotations.

Though the ScrollToTextFragment is useful in many ways, experts argue that it can also be exploited.

In a statement by David Bokan, a Google Chrome developer, the security concerns were evaluated by the security team of Google and it was decided that ScrollToTextFragment will be released without opt-in, which gives a choice to opt-out of the feature in the future.

However, the lack of opt-in and opt-out options could really frustrate several chrome users who have privacy concerns over its use.

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