Browser changes

Welcome to our Browser Changes information hub! In today's ever-evolving digital landscape, it is crucial to stay informed and adapt to changes, and one that is on everyone’s minds is what is happening with browser changes.

With increasing concerns over user privacy, major browser companies are navigating legal and regulatory landscapes, driven by initiatives such as GDPR. This page will become your go-to destination, designed to keep the global library and publisher community updated on these shifts, which may affect us all. Discover insights, stay updated, and learn how we can help you. Stay up to date and explore these developments with us!

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Browser changes: what you need to know

  1. Browser fingerprinting and privacy concerns:

    Every user’s browser has a unique fingerprint, which advertisers use to track users across different websites. Major browsers are facing pressure to enhance privacy protections due to regulations like GDPR and are looking to take steps to prevent tracking.

  2. Privacy:

    The Internet and browsers were not originally designed with privacy in mind. Nowadays browsers manage and use high volumes of personal user data, they obtain via different ways of tracking users and are used by advertisers.

  3. Changes in browsers:

    They aim to address privacy concerns by reducing tracking across the web. Most major browsers have already amended their cookie policies to block third-party cookies by default.

  4. FedCM:

    FedCM is a new API proposed as an alternative method of authentication to provide a single sign-on solution without tracking. It was made available due to browser changes to enhance user privacy and provide a consistent user experience across different websites if browser changes disable or disrupt other methods of access. 

  5. Concerns and responses:

    Libraries and organizations should stay aware of browser changes and their potential impact on authentication systems. Software vendors, publishers and service providers are best placed to respond to these issues by providing solutions and staying updated on developments.

  6. Impact:

    While the extent of potential changes is not fully known, OpenAthens through Jisc and REFEDS is actively engaging with browser companies to understand and prepare for any upcoming changes. 

  7. Uncertainty:

    There are a lot of unknowns, we do not know what may or may not happen. This information hub will provide some context and up-to-date information.

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Trust the experts! We are here to help

OpenAthens is the complete solution! It is our mission to remove barriers to knowledge, which is why we support different methods of authentication. Whether it is through federated access or our managed proxy, even if you only support IP access, our built-in proxy solution has you covered. We have the future-proof solution.

Our team is backed by a remarkable 92% customer satisfaction rating and includes technical experts specialized in SAML, proxy technologies, and OpenID Connect, ensuring we can assist you every step of the way. We are an industry-owned, non-profit organization, part of Jisc, and here to connect people to information. Now, we are proactive in ensuring our industry’s voice is heard and are ready for any forthcoming changes. 

Find out more about our complete solution

Explore our blogs on browser changes

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“It would be good if browser changes meant browsers are more in control of the user experience”

Is authentication going to stop working? What is happening with browser driven privacy changes? Are librarians and publishers going to have problems authenticating into their federations and federated resources?

Find out what is happening with browser changes
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Stay ahead of browser-level privacy changes

It’s vital librarians get up to speed on privacy-preserving initiatives proposed by the main browser vendors. Because, in time, they could have a significant impact on federated access in research and education.

Stay ahead of browser changes
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The impact of cookie privacy changes on identity services

Heather Flanagan, principal at Spherical Cow Consulting and Adam Snook, technical consultant at OpenAthens discuss the impact of cookie privacy changes on identity services.

What is the potential impact of browser changes?
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Interested in the fine detail? Explore our FAQ!

We have prepared an FAQ on browser changes, we are working to keep it up-to-date and include those common questions you raise with us, which may benefit our community. 

Read our browser changes FAQ

International Association of STM Publishers: Change ahead webinar

Change ahead! How a new web standard will change access to online scholarly resources.

Access Lab 2022: The impact of cookie privacy changes on identity services

How recent changes to cookies and web browsers impact IP and federated authentication for the library.

How changes in browser technology may impact researchers’ access to scholarly resources

Some browser functionalities that are used to track users are also used to support access pathways on the scholarly web – which means that it very likely that current access solutions will be impacted.

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