Today, at the I / O developer conference, Google announced a new way to limit the number of advertisers who can track it online. As reported for the first time in The Wall Street Journal the company is launching a new set of controls that will allow users to see all cookies currently stored by the browser and give them the option to block any tracker that do not use & # 39; T like. It is not clear how the new controls will work, and the pending interface was not made available to journalists, but the company described it as a new step in the way that Chrome protects the privacy of users.
Google is also rejecting cookie tracking. "Our experience shows that people prefer ads that are customized according to their needs and interests," said Google's vice president of engineering, Prabhakar. Raghavan said in a blog post explaining the change, "but only if those ads offer transparency, options and control."
Google also released some new transparency tools, designed to work together with existing features like Ad Settings and Mute this ad. A new open source browser extension will inform users of the various intermediaries that participated in the publication and targeting of a particular Google ad. Google will make the extension available to several browsers and, through an open API system, will encourage other ad networks to back it up.
It's a more granular system than similar privacy measures that are already available in Safari and Firefox, which block many third-party crawlers automatically. (But in the case of Safari, they largely ignore tracking not based on cookies). Due to the integrated Google sign-in cookie, the system is unlikely to limit Google's ability to see what it is doing online. But given Chrome's immense popularity, the new feature has the potential to significantly alter the balance of the online ad ecosystem, which is already dominated by Google and Facebook.