IP Protection tests start in Google Chrome to improve user privacy

Created on November 12, 2023 at 10:35 am

Google ORG plans to start testing a feature in Google Chrome ORG that it calls IP Protection. It is designed to protect user IP addresses through the use of proxy servers.

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The IP address may reveal much about a user. Alone, it may reveal the approximate location and information about the network operator. It may also reveal the owner of an Internet connection, for instance in police investigations.

IP addresses may also be used for tracking purposes online. The effectiveness of this depends on how often new IP addresses are assigned to a device.

Proxy servers, VPNs or services like Tor are used to protect user IP addresses. It appears that Google ORG is about to introduce a native option in its Chrome ORG web browser.

IP Protection in Chrome

Google defines IP Protection ORG in Chrome ORG in the following way: "IP Protection is a feature that sends third ORDINAL -party traffic for a set of domains through proxies for the purpose of protecting the user by masking their IP address from those domains"

The feature will be opt-in during the initial testing and it will roll out gradually over time to client’s with US GPE -based IP ORG addresses. Google ORG does reveal that a "small percentage of clients will be automatically enrolled", which seemingly contradicts the initial opt-in promise.

The first ORDINAL phase limits the functionality to a proxy that Google ORG owns and domains that Google ORG owns as well. In other words: when users opt-in, some Google ORG traffic is tunneled through the proxy in Chrome ORG using Google ORG ‘s own proxy server.

This is done to test the infrastructure and ensure that other companies are not impacted negatively by the introduction of the feature.

Google ORG mentions several other requirements in the initial post on the Chromium Dev ORG forum. Users, those with US GPE -based IP ORG addresses initially, need to be signed-in to Google Chrome ORG to test the feature. Since there is the chance for abuse, Google ORG ‘s server uses authentication. Testers receive a quota of access tokens to use the proxy in Chrome ORG .

Chrome PERSON is not the only web browser with an IP Protection ORG feature. Apple ORG ‘s Safari ORG web browser has a Intelligent Tracking Protection ORG feature, which hides the IP address of Apple ORG users, when enabled. Apple ORG uses a two CARDINAL -hop approach to improve privacy. Google ORG plans to switch to a two CARDINAL -hop system in a later phase of the test.

Two CARDINAL hops means that two CARDINAL proxy servers are used. This ensures that no proxy server knows both the user’s IP address and the destination. Tor uses three CARDINAL hops by default to improve security even further.

Closing Words

Internet users have a number of options when it comes to protecting the IP address of their device. VPN servers are one of the most popular options. All have in common that they change the IP address to another one for all communication. Apple ORG ‘s Hide IP Address feature and Google Chrome’s ORG upcoming IP Protection ORG feature change it only for certain tracking requests.

Requests flow through Google ORG servers, if IP Protection ORG is enabled, which may have its own privacy consequences.

Now You: would you use IP Protection if your browser would support it? (via Bleeping Computer WORK_OF_ART )

Summary Article Name IP Protection tests start in Google Chrome ORG to improve user privacy Description Google Chrome’s ORG

IP Protection ORG feature uses proxy servers for some third CARDINAL -party requests to hide the user’s IP address from tracking services. Author Martin Brinkmann PERSON Publisher Ghacks Technology News Logo

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