I found this option in the privacy settings. What is Key Generation, for forms? There was not even help for this option in the Google online documents.


key generation in chrome

Version 51.0.2704.103 m

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    My current problem is, i NEED that feature for comodo key, and im NOT having any access to such a setting, below JavaScript is Handlers, no Key, not in search, no where to be found. What gives. – Brian Thomas Mar 16 '17 at 22:06
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    Try selecting 'Show Advanced Options'. – Chloe Mar 16 '17 at 22:17
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    That didn't work. ugh. Advanced opens settings on that window which the advanced button is on, but doesnt introduce any new settings that are on the privacy popup window which the key should be in. Further, a search for key doesn't yield anything except "reset settings". I just installed windows and chrome 3 days ago, and ran into lots of problems when i started by trying to install the standalone for all users, and struggled to get it past the white screen of death at that. Since its been working flawlessly,, no other symptoms, its just plain missing. – Brian Thomas Mar 17 '17 at 0:05
  • one interesting thing, when i load the page in FF bit.ly/2mOvfPA i dont see a red box, on chrome i do, it reads You need to ensure that your browser has given this website permission to generate a key for you: so its apparently other security setting somewhere. gosh.... – Brian Thomas Mar 17 '17 at 0:15

From Alexandre Marcondes on Chrome Help Forum (link):

it seems that it may refer to this <keygen> tag on forms feature (which is deprecated by the way):

The official Chrome docs say

Key generation: Some websites use keys when you fill out forms, including online purchases, for increased security and authentication.

so it probably does refer to <keygen>.


First, some insight may be helpful:

When it mentions the word key it really means its talking about cryptography through (most likely) public key cryptography (also called asymmetric cryptography). Without going to deep, public key cryptography can be used to secure electronic communications over the internet. A form on the internet is something that can be submitted, or otherwise transmitted.

An example of a form being submitted would be when you press the "Place Order" button on Amazon. Posting this answer is considered a form being submitted (inspecting the page source show this!). However, it unlikely that SuperUser uses any kind of cryptography when I submitted this answer, since it doesn't contain sensitive information. Your Amazon order however contains information like a credit card number, your address, and other information that you probably wouldn't want to fall into the wrong hands during transmission.

To answer the question, key generation in forms is allowing the form to generate its own key based off a parameter and some other information likely stored on the server the website is hosted on. The reason Google defaults this option to "Do not allow any sites to use key generation in forms" is likely because of two things: From what I can gather, allowing the website to generate its own key is becoming deprecated, and because it is less secure.

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    I understand cryptography. Secure forms are already encrypted with TLS over HTTPS, and it encrypts everything, not just the form. This is a new feature that was never there before. I found it. It's a new tag. w3schools.com/tags/tag_keygen.asp What's wrong with HTTPS? If you encrypt form data with a client-side public key, then only the client can decrypt it with its private key. Why would that be useful when the server can't read it? Why would a new tag in HTML5 immediately become deprecated? – Chloe Jul 8 '16 at 4:34
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    It's not about encrypting the data. It's about having an HTML form generate a key pair, store the private half locally and submit the public half to the server as part of the form. As for why this option has recently appeared in Chrome, and why the tag is deprecated, I have no idea. – dty Jul 11 '16 at 19:16

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