After several weeks of delay due to the end of year holidays (Chrome 96 was released in mid-November), Google has finally deployed Chrome 97, a fairly comprehensive update.
Thus, Chrome 97 now has an option to erase data stored by websites, improves the rendering of WebApps, and introduces an option to zoom differently and individually on the sites you visit from the mobile version of the browser.
But Chrome 97 also inaugurates a new API associated with the keyboard which could prove to be problematic for the confidentiality of the users.
A new option to erase data stored by a site
Google has made some changes within Chrome’s privacy and security settings. It is now possible to erase all the data stored by a website individually, which was not the case until now.
This new option can be found in Settings > Security and privacy > Site settings > View permissions and saved data for different sites .
Then, for each of the websites visited, you just have to click on the associated options button to Clear data .
Better rendering for WebApps
The arrival of Chrome 97 allows Google to further improve the rendering of Web Apps installed from the browser. Chrome Web Apps are thus a little closer to native applications by allowing developers to use the title bar to integrate certain functions.
Better detection of HDR support
Chrome 97 now offers the option for developers to use CSS to check if your display supports HDR content. The process is done transparently for the user who, if they do not have compatible hardware, will be offered content without HDR.
Individual zoom on mobile
Chrome 97, which has also been rolled out on iOS and Android, introduces a new option to use a different zoom level on each site you visit. The function is currently only available in the form of a flag to be activated manually.
You can find it by going directly to chrome: // flags / # enable-accessibility-page-zoom . After activating it, just press the padlock icon in the address bar to access the zoom adjustment button.
A new API that raises questions
The new version of Chrome also introduces a new attribute within the Keyboard API that could cause privacy concerns.
This Keyboard MAP attribute lets websites know which keyboard keys you press, depending on the keyboard layout (QWERTY or AZERTY for example). Until now, this API could not be used by some websites that use iframes , such as online office suites like Office Online or Google Docs, to correctly identify which keys the user is pressing.
Only problem, the integration of this novelty in Chrome could compromise the confidentiality of the users. This is the fear raised in particular by Apple and Mozilla who fear that it will be used for fingerprinting , including taking a digital fingerprint, a technique that allows websites to identify a user.
For the rest, Chrome 97 corrects no less than 37 security flaws unearthed by independent researchers who have for the occasion been rewarded for their discoveries. Chrome 97 is available today for Windows , macOS , Linux , Android, and iOS .