Feb 24, 2020

Is it time to ditch Chrome?

I wrote a few years ago about how I was ditching Google Chrome for Firefox after the revelation of Edward Snowden's PRISM leak. I mean, we also talked about how Google was a known conspirator of the leak around the same time, so it made sense then.

If having Big Brother spy on you wasn't enough to have you ditch Chrome as your browser of choice, maybe their latest version will. Chrome 80 now has a deep linking feature called ScrollToTextFragment that allows Google to use YOUR browser to index and share links from the websites you visit down to a single word of text.

From Forbes:

The deep linking freedom of ScrollToTextFragment can be very useful for sharing very specific links to parts of webpages. The problem is it can also be exploited. Warning about the development of ScrollToTextFragment in December, Peter Snyder, a privacy researcher at Brave Browser explained:  
"Consider a situation where I can view DNS traffic (e.g. company network), and I send a link to the company health portal, with [the anchor] #:~:text=cancer. On certain page layouts, I might be able [to] tell if the employee has cancer by looking for lower-on-the-page resources being requested.”  
And it was Snyder who spotted that ScrollToTextFragment is now active inside Chrome 80 stating that "Imposing privacy and security leaks to existing sites (many of which will never be updated) REALLY should be a 'don't break the web’, never-cross, redline. This spec does that."

Are you going to be sticking with Chrome or are you going to switch to another browser after hearing about this? Let us know in the comments!

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