Google To Force Sites To Ask About Chrome Notifications Every 90 Days

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A new addition to Google Chrome will effectively limit how long notifications will be shown to users before a site has to request permission again. Google will reportedly add the feature as early as Chrome 86, at least in the Canary Channel.

Summarily, Google is looking to enforce a rundown timer on notifications. That's time presumably measured from when users give a site permission to access push notifications. But it may actually go a bit further than that, based on the wording found alongside the incoming change.

Specifically, the change will add an "expiration time" of 90 days. That's set when subscribing to push notifications and in the subscribe method itself. The former part of that is fairly obvious. When users allow a site to send push notifications in Chrome, a 90-day timer will be set. Once that expires, a site will need new permission to push the notifications.

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But the second half of the statement seems to imply that it will be put in place on the notification requesting permission too. That could, theoretically, result in an end to permission requests. It may allow a site to ask users to subscribe for 90 days and then halt those notifications too.

Why force sites to request notifications permission repeatedly in Chrome?

It's unclear where exactly in Chrome the change will be enabled. It will almost certainly appear on desktop platforms such as Windows, Linux, Mac, and Chrome OS. But it could also land on mobile devices running Android and iOS, stopping unwanted notifications across the board. It also won't necessarily be limited to 90-days when it lands, if it moves into the Stable Channel.

Google says the 90-day limit right now is just the current limit'. So the company could change that length of time in the future to something shorter. The obvious goal, of course, is to force websites to regain permission. That way, if users turn out to not want notifications, they'll have the opportunity to shut them off.

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It also forces sites to be more considerate about the notifications they deliver. Users won't need to know how to turn off notifications manually. So this will act as a kind of trial period. And that trial period will repeat on 90-day cycles. If a site is being abusive with notifications, users will repeatedly have the opportunity to opt-out.

This is just a test

Google could also go in the opposite direction, ultimately deciding not to fully implement the change.  The flag settings aren't even enabled for user access yet. And they'll likely have an extensive trial period. With Chrome 86 not scheduled to land until the first two weeks of October, there's still plenty of time for Google to decide not to implement the feature. But that seems unlikely since notification abuse has been front-and-center in several recent updates to the browser.