Google Patches Chrome with Privacy Enhancements

/ Source: TechNewsDaily

Google yesterday (Nov. 6) unveiled Chrome 23, the latest version of its popular browser. It comes with patches for over a dozen vulnerabilities, a "do not track" feature and site-by-site security options at users' fingertips.

The fixes, 12 of which affect Windows users and two for Mac OS X, cost Google $9,000 in prizes that went to security researchers who uncovered the problems. Of the 14 vulnerabilities, Google had rated six as "high risk."

In addition to the added security, Chrome users will be able to send "do not track" requests to websites to block cookies, JavaScript, plug-ins, pop-ups and other potentially unwanted code. The option is a welcome addition for many users, but Google has it turned "off" by default.

Google's Chrome blog also touts new security features that allow users to set permissions and preferences on a site-by-site basis in a much easier fashion than was possible before.

"Simply click on the page/lock icon next to a website's address in the omnibox to see a list of permissions and tweak them as you wish," the blog post reads. "This saves you from having to dig through  pages to find these permissions."

Another new feature for Chrome users on Windows is designed to shift video decoding from the a computer's central processing unit to the video card, or graphics-processing unit, in order to increase battery life.

The GPU-accelerated video decoding, as it's called, increased battery life by 25 percent of Google's tests.

"Chrome users on Windows will experience longer battery life so they don't get cut off while watching their favorite YouTube video on repeat," the blog said.

The top prize for uncovering Chrome's vulnerabilities went to Phil Turnbull, who netted $3,500 for his discovery while other researchers earned $1,000 for their trouble, reported.