Google wants to get rid of the URL completely

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Uniform Resource Locators (URLs), the online addresses that are a bit like one of the most important ways of surfing the Internet, have an important problem. Because they have a complex structure, malicious people can easily exploit them. Google wants to do something about that.

Now it is easy for a hacker, for example, to make a domain name really appear by choosing a name that resembles what a browser is looking for. Or they use a URL that is too long to display completely in a mobile browser. Or, something more complicated, they make the web address look exactly the same as a real address. The team behind Google Chrome wants to do something about that. But what?

Safer experience

Chrome developers are constantly inventing new ways to make Internet a safer experience. For example, they already use the label if a web address is not secure, to indicate that a site should not be visited. But that’s not enough. It could be safer and better and the team is working on it according to a story on Wired.

What those future URLs should look like is therefore not entirely clear. However, Wired reports that Chrome researchers are looking at the way URLs are used in different contexts, to find out what a good future might be.

Easier to read

Adrienne Porter Felt, one of Chrome’s engineering managers, tells Wired that it turns out to be complicated for people to understand URLs. They are difficult to read and it is difficult to know which part can be trusted. In general, I don’t think URLs are a good way to pass on the identity of a site.

The hope of the team behind Chrome is to find a way for browsers to understand what’s in the URL and how they can pass on the identity in a safe and understandable way. But the Chrome team itself is still divided on a solution. That’s why we first find out how the URL is actually used, before we can come up with an alternative to take advantage of it. But I do know that whatever we propose will be controversial.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.