Expecting complete privacy on the internet is still a long way off in 2023. While disabling third-party cookies to protect your identity is good, most users don’t know how much information their own IP address gives away. Shortly after using the best VPNs, there is no reliable way to control who we selectively give our IP addresses to. Luckily, Google recently started testing an exciting new feature for its Chrome browser that may give users some of the control back. Below, let’s talk about this potential feature coming to the Google Chrome browser.
Google IP protection: IP address and identity masking
First noted by Beeping computerthe new potential feature for Google Chrome is called “IP protection.” The feature aims to protect users’ online privacy by obfuscate their real IP address. The feature does this by dynamically routing third-party traffic through Google’s proxy servers while hiding the IP addresses of the originating domains. This essentially makes you invisible to the websites you visit and ensures that users don’t reveal their actual IP address while browsing the web.
Currently, the IP masking process works through a single dedicated proxy. However, in the future, Google also wants one two-hop proxy system that should improve the security of your real IP even further.
Google has also confirmed that the long-term solution will be to develop the ecosystem for better privacy. The company has stated that it will work with ISPs, various third parties and destination sites to work on the privacy proxies. IP protection for Google Chrome will initially be a opt-in function and will roll out in a phased manner on time.
Despite all that, Google has stated that this is no infallible solution. The IP protection feature on Google Chrome has certain drawbacks. A big one is the power of the corporate servers themselves. If the proxy server itself is hacked, all IP address information in it will be used. Moreover, it could be used mask fraudulent activities or DDoS attacks done against websites.
Why Google Chrome’s IP protection is important
There are many reasons why someone would need to mask their IP address, and that of Google Github repository lists some of them. The information that users repeatedly provide “can be combined over time to create a unique, persistent user profile and track a user’s activity across the Internet.” This can be considered one threat to privacy for many users.
Yours are also taken into account geolocation When tracked regularly, advertisers can build a customized profile of users and tailor their ads to you. However, with the IP protection feature enabled, Google wants to offer websites more obscure location instead. For example, your country location is likely provided to the website rather than your exact location.
As the company mentions in its repository, Google was already phasing out third-party cookies and limiting fingerprinting. If implemented correctly, the IP Protection feature in Google Chrome will help limit other cross-site tracking methods beyond third-party cookies.
It’s great to see Google innovating on the privacy features of its ever-so-popular Chrome browser. What do you think of the new IP protection feature coming to Google Chrome? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!