The creator of an ad-blocking extension for Google Chrome has admitted that the new version doesn't have "much point" after having to cut out several important features.
uBlock Origin creator Raymond Hill made the remark in the new version's GitHub commit, presumably in anticipation of Google's move to its Manifest v3 (MV3) API.
According to Hill, the "limiting factor" in developing the new version of the extension was Google's decision to stop giving Chrome developers "broad read/modify data permissions" under MV3, so users should stick with the MV2 extension if they want to keep using uBlock Origin's current set of features.
Google's new MV3 API has been in the works since 2018, and it's been touted as providing significant performance improvements in addition to safeguarding users' security and privacy.
It may seem like a step in the right direction to remove key read and modify data permissions on which most Chromium-based privacy and ad blocking tools rely, but this could make it more difficult for Chrome users to find and use privacy tools in the future.
They could switch to a different web browser, a VPN service, or the best VPN routers to protect themselves online.
By January 2023, developers will be unable to update extensions on the old API, and they will no longer run at all on consumer browsers. This ban on new MV2 extensions was implemented by Google in January.
From then on, websites may be more likely to display informative pop-ups requiring users to accept cookies before proceeding with their browsing, and users of the Google Chrome ad blocking extension may be more frequently redirected away from websites without being given the option to do so.
For this reason, the future of Chrome ad blockers and privacy tools is cloudy heading into the new year.