Google has officially scrapped its controversial Web Environment Integrity API proposal, which was likened to digital rights management (DRM) for the open web.
The API, which was at the proposal stage, aimed to allow websites to verify the authenticity of users and their devices or browsers.
Google’s intentions behind this initiative were to enhance user trust in online environments and combat issues such as social media manipulation, phishing campaigns, non-human traffic in advertising, and account takeover attempts.
However, the tech giant faced significant backlash from the public, as concerns were raised about the potential implications of bringing DRM-like features to the open web.
Responding to the feedback received, Google announced that the Web Environment Integrity proposal is no longer under consideration by the Chrome team.
Instead, Google has shifted its focus to a more narrowly scoped solution: the Android WebView Media Integrity API. This new API targets WebViews embedded in apps on Android devices with Google Mobile Services (GMS).
Unlike its predecessor, this API is limited in scope and specifically designed to address the integrity of embedded media, such as streaming video and audio, within Android apps.
The Media Integrity API provides embedded media providers with a tailored integrity response and ensures their streams operate in a secure and trusted environment regardless of the app store from which the embedding app was downloaded. Notably, the API does not share any user or device identifiers to prioritise user privacy.
Google has invited media content providers to express their interest in joining an early access program set to launch early next year.
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