Google has announced (opens in a new tab) that the API for its latest Chromium-based extension platform web browsersManifesto V3 (MV3), has been delayed again, with the company’s update expected by March 2023.
The latest development comes just a month before original deadline January 2023, announced in early September 2022, was to enter into force. Google seems to be in disarray over the change on how to proceed delay until January 2024 took place in late September, although only for Google Chrome users in enterprises.
The extensions are currently built on top of the Manifest V2 (MV2) API, which offers developers robust functionality to efficiently privacy toolssuch as uBlock Origin and Decentraleyes will continue to grow. Google wants to limit this functionality with MV3 by reducing the number of permissions available to developers, which it claims will increase user privacy and productivity.
Manifest V3 Privacy Implications
While Google is in debt maintained (opens in a new tab) that it intends to support extensions that block content after the transition, some app developers are discovering that this may not be the reality.
TechRadar Pro noted in our original due date report that uBlock Origin lead developer Raymond Hill had developed an MV3-compatible version of the extension, but noted that the functionality was so limited that there was “not much sense” to release.
Register noted that functionality and privacy complaints also come from Electronic Frontier Foundation (opens in a new tab)and Jean-Paul Schmetz (opens in a new tab)CEO of privacy suite provider Ghostery, to name a few.
However, it also happens that perhaps so far the transition to MV3 has happened while the API has been an experimental mess full of bugs.
Register it turned out that Chromium’s bug reporting system has a litany of errors (opens in a new tab) only applies to this, while the new Service Workers feature, replacing background scripts that stop and run as needed, largely broken (opens in a new tab)and lasts at least from November 2020.
However, it’s not all bad news: users looking for real safe browsing experience are not yet out of options.
Alternative browsers built on Chromium, the same base engine as Google Chrome, such as Microsoft Edge, are largely included in this change. However, more focused on privacy Bold (opens in a new tab) and Vivaldi (opens in a new tab) both have built-in ad and tracker blockers that shouldn’t be affected by switching to MV3.
Mozilla Firefox, which claims to be one of the few browsers not built on Chromium, plans to implement MV3 while retaining some MV2 features. As TechRadar Pro reported in late September by Mozilla intends to keep the WebRequest (opens in a new tab)an integral API to block web content and trackers.
By Register (opens in a new tab)