Google and its Alphabet mother company have demonstrated in the past, over and over, that they will protect the advertising core of their business by all means.
They do so by applying a sophisticated embrace, extend and extinguish strategy.
They provide quite useful technology to end users, usually without a price tag, in exchange for unrestrained collection of private data that they monetarize unscrupulously to their business customers…
While the public obviously benefits from this in many ways, looking at the hefty profits Alphabet accumulates (32 billions in 2019), I wonder who indeed got the better end of this deal?
Naturally, this makes them discern ad blocking facilties as a threat to their business model:
New and existing technologies could affect our ability to customize ads and/or could block ads online, which would harm our business.
Technologies have been developed to make customizable ads more difficult or to block the display of ads altogether and some providers of online services have integrated technologies that could potentially impair the core functionality of third-party digital advertising. Most of our Google revenues are derived from fees paid to us in connection with the display of ads online. As a result, such technologies and tools could adversely affect our operating results.
This is cited from their 2018 official annual report to the US SEC, page 17.
In light of this statement, their late 2018 announcement for changing Chromium’s API into a more restrictive mode that quite possibly limits and even cripples adblocking browser extensions, along with banning of popular adblocking extensions (if temporarily only), gain another quality (read more about this here , here, here and here).
It is comforting to know that they cannot control or influence Pi-hole in the same way as browser extensions for Chrome.
Yet, I feel uneasy about their recent push for browser-initiated DoH. I sometimes fantasize them making DoH the default in Chrome and then removing any options to change it after a while - all in our best interest to protect our privacy from unrelated third parties (which their paying customers do not get classified as).
But that would just be me being paranoid, wouldn’t it?