On the privacy front, Microsoft is working on another new feature so users don’t have to compromise between privacy projects and embedded content will continue to function correctly.
Last year Apple added a new privacy API called ‘Storage Access’ to its Safari browser that influences how third-party embedded content request access to first-party cookies.
It looks like Microsoft is also bringing Storage Access API to the Chromium browser. On July 27, Microsoft proposed implementation of Storage Access API and feature will be enabled via flag initially.
This API will allow third-party embedded content to request access/control of storage access permissions only when the user interacts with the embedded content. The access would otherwise be denied by the browser’s settings.
The current status of Storage Access API in other browsers:
- Microsoft Edge: Intent to implement.
- Mozilla Firefox: Shipped in 65.
- Apple Safari: Shipped in 11.1.
“This is a standalone API addition. There are scenarios where storage access is restricted, e.g. when third-party cookies are disabled, and in those cases the access result is currently static. In scenarios where the Storage Access API is used to grant access these APIs will now have dynamic behavior regarding permission,” wrote Brandon Maslen, a senior software engineer at Microsoft.
In a post on Github, Microsoft is suggesting the Chrome team to add permission prompt for users who have disabled third-party cookies and provide implementation if a user is interested.
Microsoft wants to offer a standard mechanism for webpages to request access to storage resources that would otherwise be blocked by the browser. The Redmond firm also noted that this will enable a “greater level of control over storage access permissions allows for existing Chromium privacy controls”.
The Chrome status page says the Storage Access API is in development. There is also a commit on Chromium Gerrit to add ‘Storage Access API’ feature flag and anyone should be able to test the feature by enabling flag in Chrome Canary.