If you’re using the newly updated Google Chrome to browse the web, you probably don’t care too much about your privacy. Still, the most popular browser in the world is getting ready to let users hide their IP address from websites, even if they don’t have a VPN.

Cross-site tracking is more difficult to do now that Google has added IP Protection. This is because IP addresses are linked to users and their behavior. There aren’t many ways to stop sites from seeing users’ IP addresses and connecting them to the things they do, which makes this type of tracking even more dangerous than normal cookies. Some sites won’t be able to tell who is looking at their page because the feature would make a proxy IP address. BleepingComputer found out about the story.

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Brianna Goldstein, a senior software engineer at Google, wrote on Friday that the company is getting ready for its first IP protection test. The program will only work on sites that Google already owns, like Google.com, Gmail, and Google Ad Services at first. People will have to choose to join. Google is basically checking how well its IP blockers work on its own websites that log users’ IP addresses so that the company can track them across sites. And only people with U.S. addresses who are logged in to their Google account on Chrome will be able to access it. For this first test, a small group of users will be automatically given access.

For the second test, Goldstein wrote that IP Protection would use a two-hop proxy, which is a proxy for the first proxy that would be run by a different network.

Not every website should have a user’s IP address blocked. Only data that is meant to track users, like the dreaded cookie, should have it blocked. Google says it’s working on the feature in a way that won’t mess up legal activities that use IP addresses. Along with these tests, the feature will start sending more third-party sites through the Google proxy if Google keeps them up.

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That’s kind of like what Apple did with iCloud Private Relay through Safari. That is, both the network provider and Apple can see users’ IP addresses. However, Apple encrypts the DNS records first, and then a third-party network makes a temporary IP address for visiting a site. Many changes in routes can slow down a device’s connection to a website. This could also happen to Chrome users if Google decides to make the new feature bigger.

As Google rolls out its so-called Privacy Sandbox, which is meant to cut straight through third-party cookies, it’s interesting to see the company add more privacy choices. Cookies will no longer be used by the company after 2024. With IP Protection, third-party sites will have a lot fewer ways to keep track of users across multiple sites.


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