Google holds firm on Chrome changes that may break ad blockers

Google is responding to criticism of proposed changes to its Chrome web browser that may cripple ad-blocking tools. While the search giant revealed there will be an exemption for enterprise users, it doesn't look like Google has been fundamentally persuaded by critics.

Google revealed the changes in October 2018 as part of a broader plan to improve Chrome extensions. In January, developers noticed that part of the plan, called Manifest v3, could hurt ad blockers. Manifest v3 is designed to improve Chrome extensions' performance, privacy and security, but one part of that change limits how extensions will be able to examine aspects of websites. Some developers have said this will torpedo their ad-blocking and privacy extensions.

In response to criticism from developers, Google's Simeon Vincent said the proposed changes in Manifest V3 aim to give end-users more control and briefly noted an exception for enterprise users.

"Chrome is deprecating the blocking capabilities of the webRequest API in Manifest V3, not the entire webRequest API (though blocking will still be available to enterprise deployments)," wrote Vincent in a Chromium forum post on May 24.

Google didn't immediately respond to a request for additional comment.