Google has received Internet-wide backlash for plans it has drawn up which consider the implementation of what it calls a Web Environment Integrity (WEI) API.
The four authors behind the WEI explainer article explain how such an API would allow servers to “evaluate the authenticity of the device” in order to prevent some types of fraud, however comments on the GitHub page were largely negative.
Among the many complaints, some users raised concerns about surveillance and discrimination, while others called for approval by regulatory bodies and indeed for Google to compare the preposition to the W3C code of Ethics.
To add insult to injury, Google is now facing criticism from rival browser makers, including some that use the Chromium foundations.
Brave co-founder and CEO (and ex-Mozilla CEO) Brendan Eich pointed out on Twitter that the browser will not be shipping with support for Google’s proposed API, comparing it to other “junk” that Google puts into Chromium which Brave disables.
Vivaldi developer Julien Picalausa called the result of Google’s developers’ work “toxic” and “dangerous,” but in a glimmer of hope, Picalausa suggests that the EU will almost certainly want to look into the effects of the WEI API should it be given the green flag by Google.
So far, Apple and its workers have remained quiet on the matter. We gave the company the opportunity to share its thoughts on Google’s plans, but no response has been received as yet.
We also asked Google whether it had anything further to add beyond last week’s comment, when a company spokesperson told us that the program had been paused, and directed us in the face of early backlash to a response by the explainer article’s author, which concluded:
“We welcome collaboration on a solution for scaled anti-abuse that respects user privacy, while maintaining the open nature of the web.”
Again, Google did not immediately respond to our request. Further updates will be posted here.