Chrome now disables many of those annoying web notification permission requests.

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Google today announced a set of new and updated security features for Chrome, almost all of which are based on machine learning (ML) models, as well as a couple of great new ML-based features that aim to make browsing the web a little easier. including a new feature that will suppress requests to allow notifications when the algorithm thinks you’re unlikely to accept them.

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Starting with the next version of Chrome, Google will introduce a new machine learning model that will disable many of these notification permission prompts. And the sooner the better. For now, they’ve mostly become a nuisance. Even if there are some sites – and these are mostly news sites – that can offer some value in their notifications, I can’t remember the last time I intentionally accepted them. Also, while legitimate sites like to send web notifications to remind readers of their existence, attackers can also use them to send phishing attacks or prompt users to download malware if they get permission from users.

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“On the one hand, page notifications help deliver updates from sites you care about; on the other hand, permission requests for notifications can be a nuisance,” Google admits in a blog post today. The company’s new machine learning model will now look for clues that users are most likely to ignore and automatically block them. And as a bonus, it all happens on your local computer, so none of your browsing data goes to Google’s servers.

On the security front, Google today announced that earlier this year it quietly released an update to the machine learning model that underpins its Secure browsing service. This new model detects 2.5 times more malicious sites and phishing attacks than the previous model.

Two images side by side.  The first from the left is a smartphone with a red screen and a phishing warning message.  The image on the right shows a Chrome browser window with a

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Left: What you’ll see if a phishing attempt is detected. Right: Chrome silently shows permission requests when the user is unlikely to grant them.

As for other new machine learning-based features, Chrome is also getting a new language identification model that better detects what language a given page is in and whether it should be translated based on your personal preferences.

Meanwhile, in the near future, Chrome will customize its toolbar to suit your current needs. It will know that you usually share many links, for example in the morning, and then it will highlight the invitation to share, and later in the day when you use public transport, it will show the voice prompt icon, because it has learned that you often use this feature ( By the way, did you know that you can long press on a shortcut in Chrome Mobile to manually change it?)

“Our goal is to create a browser that is truly and consistently useful, and we are excited about the possibilities that machine learning provides,” explains Google.

The Chrome browser with a highlighted square around the icon to the right of the address bar.  At the top is the microphone icon, and at the bottom is the share icon.

Image Credits: Google


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