Google Removes Controversial Chrome Feature
Google has made a u-turn regarding a controversial Chrome feature first revealed in 2020 that would have only shown users a site’s domain as opposed to a webpage’s full address.
According to TechRadar, the URL experiment, first implemented in August of last year, was announced by the search giant in a post on the Chromium Blog.
Google wanted to determine whether showing only the domain in the address bar on desktop would help users realise they’re visiting a malicious site instead of a legitimate one.
Some of Chrome’s users were then put in an experimental group so that they could test out this controversial feature. While Google’s URL experiment had good intentions, the feature didn’t go down well with some users and the company shelved the project completely.
In a new Chromium commit, Google Engineer Emil Stark announced the closure, saying: “Delete simplified domain experiment. This experiment didn’t move relevant security metrics, so we’re not going to launch it.”
With Google continuing to show full URLs in Chrome’s address bar, special care is needed to fish out suspicious websites. One can do this by looking out for misspelled words, fishy URLs and the use of HTTP as opposed to the more secure HTTPS at the beginning of a website’s address.