Google Chrome’s new update for its privacy concern is under scrutiny. And will be on effect before 31st of March 2020.
Chrome 80 executes another browser ability called ScrollToTextFragment, that enabling the links to web documents. ScrollToTextFragment permits Google to connect a single word of content and its position on the page.
But the question may raise in your mind that “Google is already doing this.”
And the answer is Yes, it does, but it’s always reliant on an anchor made by site owner. ScrollToTextFragment doesn’t require any anchor, which means a link to a particular bit of content within a report can be made by anybody.
Google provides the following example:
“For example, the URL:
[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat#:~:text=On islands, birds can contribute as much as 60% of a cat’s diet]
This loads the page for Cat, highlights the specified text, and scrolls directly to it.”
Should We Bother or Not?
Let me tell you that that ScrollToTextFragment can be useful but according to many privacy pundits, it can be exploited as well.
Peter Snyder, a privacy researcher at Brave Browser, says in a statement to Forbes:
“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.”
So, currently, ScrollToTextFragment is only supported by the Chrome browser.