Microsoft Edge's Strict Privacy Measures Face YouTube Viewing Hurdles from Google
Microsoft Edge users maintaining strict online privacy measures found themselves unable to view YouTube videos on Google, at least in certain instances.
For a glimpse into the history, Google initiated an experiment earlier this year wherein they started blocking users who employed ad blockers. During that phase, YouTube's sophisticated system could detect ad blockers; subsequently, users couldn't access content unless they disabled the ad blocker.
As per Windows Latest, the same experience is now being encountered by some Edge users who have opted for the 'Strict' setting in the browser’s tracking prevention feature. This function blocks trackers and minimizes the degree of personalization in advertisements, essentially limiting the amount of personal data Google can glean from your browser to fine-tune targeted ads.
According to the tech website, the affected Edge users need to switch from the Strict setting to the Balanced mode for tracking protection.
Therefore, it seems Google has concluded that Edge's privacy options interfere excessively with its YouTube advertising operations and has taken steps akin to its actions against prominent ad blockers.
Google may reason that free YouTube viewers must contribute towards the company's monetization efforts. Since blocking ads prevents this, users would be advised to subscribe to YouTube Premium, which recently witnessed a surge in subscription rates.
The decision to enforce this action on Edge is considered heavy-handed by some, especially considering that Edge's anti-tracking features do not equate to a comprehensive ad blocker.
On a brighter note, not all Edge users appear to be affected, according to the report. This suggests Google might still be evaluating the situation, and the decision may yet be overturned.
Unfortunately, one can do little about this unless the Strict mode is sidestepped. However, sticking with the Strict protection could be feasible if YouTube.com is added to the exceptions list in the tracking prevention settings. This way, YouTube ads will not be affected and users can still enjoy strict privacy measures on other websites.
One of the common grievances with YouTube's ads is the incessant and lengthy advertisements that are often unskippable. This can be bothersome, particularly for mobile users who just wish to watch a quick video and find a significant portion of their time consumed by ads.
As indicated earlier, Google views restricting ad blockers as an experiment, yet it seems determined to pursue this course of action.