Chrome to label Fast pages, disable Autofill on insecure forms

Ewdison Then - Aug 17, 2020, 10:14pm CDT
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Chrome to label Fast pages, disable Autofill on insecure forms

Holding the majority of the web browser market on almost all platforms puts Google in the prime position to push for (some would say dictate) good web practices. It has helped push website owners to use secure HTTPS, get rid of invasive and abusive ads, and adopt designs and technologies that speed up and improve users’ browsing experiences. Of course, not all are falling in line with Google’s campaigns, especially those that don’t really care much for Chrome. To further encourage adoption, it is introducing a new badge of honor for some compliant sites and will be penalizing those that continue to put users at risk.

Staring with Chrome 85 beta on mobile, the browser will add a “Fast page” badge to a link’s information whenever you long-press on a link going to a certain web page. This badge indicates that the page has historically met or even exceeded the metrics set by Google in its Core Web Vitals.

It pretty much awards sites that load fast on mobile, which is part of Google’s campaign in making websites focus on a mobile-first, mobile-friendly experience from the get-go. Of course, some will point out that Google is the one that makes the rules but Google does promise that the rules are stable and that changes will have prior notices and rolled out annually only.

While these Fast page badges will only be visible when you long-press on a link, Chrome 86 will have a more glaring warning for insecure pages. Just because a web page itself is delivered via HTTPS doesn’t mean that everything inside it also is. In fact, there might be situations where the forms you’ve filled up with your personal information will, instead, be delivered insecurely.

In instances like that, Google has opted to disable Autofill to err on the side of caution, telling users why it does so. If the user persists in filling out the form manually and still sending it via an insecure connection, Chrome 86 will show a full-page warning instead. Of course, users still have the option to send it anyway but, by then, all bets are off on the security and privacy of the transaction.


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