Google Chrome is rolling out a new feature called “Enhanced Ad Privacy,” a feature that allows websites to target users with ads based on their browsing history.
The Enhanced Ad Privacy feature works by assigning each user a set of “topics” based on their browsing history. These topics can then be used by websites to target ads. For example, if a user has been browsing websites about finance, they may be shown ads for financial products.
Since the release of Chrome 115 in July, some users have reported encountering a pop-up notification about this new functionality. This notification coincides with Google’s Topics API, a part of the Privacy Sandbox initiative, which aims to provide privacy-focused alternatives to third-party cookies.
According to Google, the Enhanced Ad Privacy feature does not allow websites to track users across the web. However, some privacy experts have expressed concerns that the feature could still be used to track users.
Users who are not interested in the Enhanced Ad Privacy feature, you can disable it in the Chrome settings. To do this, once in Chrome, go to*chrome://settings/adPrivacy. Under “Topics,” select “Off.”
Google’s larger objective is to phase out third-party cookies, replacing them with technologies like the Topics API. This approach promises ad targeting without compromising user privacy, as it relies on Chrome directly querying users about their interests rather than tracking them through cookies.
The sources for this piece include an article in TheRegister.