Google has removed a feature that could be used to hide users’ IP address from the news service.
Google News uses an IP address to display the top stories for that user’s location and search history.
When users sign in to Google News with their Google Account, the Google News app automatically sets a proxy server address.
Users can disable the proxy setting in the Google Settings app, but there’s no indication in the update that the feature will be gone for the foreseeable future.
The change is effective today, but Google is apparently planning to roll it back if it receives feedback from users.
Update: Google said in a statement to TechCrunch that the change is intended to protect users from “false positives”.
“We want to ensure users are aware of the warning messages displayed when setting up proxy settings, and to prevent users from accidentally signing in with an IP that matches their proxy,” Google said.
“The new proxy settings are not intended to hide the IP address of a user from other users.”
Update 2: Some Google users are reporting that the ‘Google News proxy’ feature is no longer available.
As of the time of publication, the feature was still available, but it was unavailable for users that have signed into the app from the Google Home app.