Vivaldi, which is based on Chromium, has released an update containing a new “Cookie Crumbler” feature, which avoids the cookie consent banners in force in Europe.
Vivaldi’s latest update, version 3.8 for the desktop, includes a first attempt to remove this annoyance in the “Blocking trackers and ads” section of the browser’s “Settings” interface.
Vivaldi explains his reasoning in a blog post: “Users are often forced to click through multiple steps to manage these cookies, including hidden options, dialog on every page, and sometimes they even have no way to refuse them. Of course, that makes the browsing experience frustrating ”.
Vivaldi opposes Google’s FLoC
According to Vivaldi, “this leads to clicking ‘allow’ or ‘accept’ without realizing that, unintentionally, users have just given trackers permission to create behavioral profiles about them.”
Vivaldi, along with other Chromium-based browser makers Opera and Brave, defied Google efforts to ban ad blocker extensions in 2019. All three browsers now have built-in ad blockers. Vivaldi explains this decision here.
Since then, Google has promised to remove support for third-party cookies by 2022. The web giant recently began testing its new tool called FLoC, acronym for “Federated Learning of Cohorts”, with Chrome users in outside the EU. Vivaldi, Brave and now Mozilla, maker of Firefox, oppose Google’s project. Digital rights group Electronic Frontiers Foundation (EFF) has also called FLoC a “terrible idea.” Microsoft, which makes the Chromium-based Edge browser, has meanwhile not opposed FLoC.
A solution to be perfected
Vivaldi users can try out the new “Cookie Crumbler” feature by going to Settings> Privacy> Ad tracking and blocking> Manage sources, then by activating the option “Delete cookie warnings”.
“It will just block the service requesting consent, or hide the consent dialog, in the same way that it might remove a tracker or ad,” says Vivaldi.
Vivaldi warns that this feature is not yet perfect. It relies on third-party blocking lists EasyList Cookie List and I Don’t Care About Cookies. “Although Cookie Crumbler works on most websites, it is not a perfect solution, as some will use other tactics to obtain cookie consent,” warns Vivaldi.
“Please note that some sites may not let users in at all and not work as expected, as they actually require cookie consent for some functionality, but you can turn off the ad blocker in Vivaldi on those sites to turn off Cookie Crumbler. “
A spokesperson for Vivaldi told that the company is considering making the lists more visible in the browser UI.