Google announces IP Protection feature in Chrome to enhance user security and privacy

October 24, 2023  12:26

Google has unveiled plans to implement an "IP Protection" feature in its Chrome browser, designed to significantly enhance user security and privacy. This novel tool will route internet traffic through Google's proxy servers, making it much harder to track users' online activities. Furthermore, Google is considering the possibility of sequentially using two proxy servers, further bolstering user privacy.

An IP address serves as a unique identifier, often used to track user activity on the internet. Marketing companies and advertising brokers leverage this data to create user profiles for targeted advertising campaigns. Google's IP Protection feature is being developed specifically to combat this form of tracking.

The company intends to deploy IP Protection incrementally for a limited number of websites to assess the effectiveness of this safeguard. However, exact testing commencement dates have not been disclosed as of now.

Google also cautions that IP Protection does not provide an absolute guarantee of privacy in all scenarios. For instance, if one of Google's proxy servers were to be compromised, malicious actors might gain access to the transmitted traffic and use it for their purposes. Routing through two proxy servers can increase security since neither would simultaneously possess both the user's IP address and the destination URL. Nonetheless, the reliability of such a system remains a subject of doubt.

It's worth noting that malicious actors could employ Google's proxy servers to obscure Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks or other fraudulent activities. In such cases, Google may require full user authentication, potentially compromising user privacy.

It should be remembered that a significant portion of Google's business model relies on user tracking and targeted advertising. The new IP Protection feature could complicate the operations of third-party companies, giving Google a competitive advantage. Undoubtedly, many users may be skeptical about these plans, but the hope remains that the new tool will deliver on its promises as announced.

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