“Today I wanted to write specifically about Google Chrome, how much I’ve loved it in the past, and why — due to Chrome’s new user-unfriendly forced login policy — I won’t be using it going forward,” Matthew Green writes for A Few Thoughts on Cryptographic Engineering.
“When Google launched Chrome ten years ago, it seemed like one of those rare cases where everyone wins. In 2008, the browser market was dominated by Microsoft, a company with an ugly history of using browser dominance to crush their competitors. Worse, Microsoft was making noises about getting into the search business. This posed an existential threat to Google’s internet properties,” Green writes. “In this setting, Chrome was a beautiful solution. Even if the browser never produced a scrap of revenue for Google, it served its purpose just by keeping the Internet open to Google’s other products. As a benefit, the Internet community would receive a terrific open source browser with the best development team money could buy.”
“For many years this is exactly how things played out. Sure, Google offered an optional “sign in” feature for Chrome, which presumably vacuumed up your browsing data and shipped it off to Google, but that was an option,” Green writes. “A few weeks ago Google shipped an update to Chrome that fundamentally changes the sign-in experience. From now on, every time you log into a Google property (for example, Gmail), Chrome will automatically sign the browser into your Google account for you. It’ll do this without asking, or even explicitly notifying you. (However, and this is important: Google developers claim this will not actually start synchronizing your data to Google — yet.)”
“Nobody on the Chrome development team can provide a clear rationale for why this change was necessary, and the explanations they’ve given don’t make any sense,” Green writes. “This change has enormous implications for user privacy and trust, and Google seems unable to grapple with this.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: With Google, you are the product. Even if their products start out benignly, they will not stay that way because Google’s ultimate goal is to vacuum up everything, to know everything it possibly can, in order to target ads precisely to you for which they can charge more (highly targeted ads work better and are therefore more valuable).
So, when an Alphabet Inc. “product” (personal data siphon) like Google Photos comes out, for just one of many examples, our immediate advice is always to ignore the pretty bells and whistles for this will go badly for your privacy sooner or later. Most likely, sooner.
This is why people are stupid (or ignorant) to shackle their children to Google products via public school systems. Gmail addresses are required, of course, and it just gets worse from there. Even if Google swears to do nothing with the data while the student in in school, these kids will eventually exit school systems with Gmail addresses, Google Docs, Google Drives, Google Photos, etc. – it’s an indoctrination program that people pay for via their school taxes.
People are equally as stupid (or ignorant) when they screw themselves and their family members with Android phones. It’s simply idiocy (or naivety) that Google preys upon for profit.
Using an Android phone and/or Google apps (including on your Mac, iPad, or iPhone) is branding yourself a fool.
Researchers find Google harvests more data from Android – and Apple iOS – users than most people think – August 21, 2018
Google hit with lawsuit accusing them of tracking phone users regardless of privacy settings – August 20, 2018
Google tracks users movements even when explicitly told not to – Associated Press – August 13, 2018
New Android malware records ambient audio, fires off premium-rate texts, and harvests files, photos, contacts, and more – March 2, 2018
How Google is secretly recording Android settlers, monitoring millions of conversations every day and storing the creepy audio files – August 22, 2017
Android apps secretly tracking users by listening to inaudible sound hidden in ads – May 8, 2017
Edward Snowden: No matter what, do not use Google’s new Allo messenger app – September 23, 2016
Apple’s iOS 11 will deliver even more privacy to users – June 8, 2017
Google to pay $5.5 million for sneaking around Apple’s privacy settings to collect user data – August 31, 2016
Apple takes a swing at privacy-tampling, personal data-guzzling rivals like Google – September 29, 2015
Apple: Hey Siri and Live Photos data stays only on your device to ensure privacy – September 12, 2015
Apple issues iPhone manifesto; blasts Android’s lack of updates, lack of privacy, rampant malware – August 10, 2015
Edward Snowden supports Apple’s stance on customer privacy – June 17, 2015
Mossberg: Apple’s latest product is privacy – June 12, 2015
Apple looks to be building an alternative to the Google-branded, hand-over-your-privacy ‘Internet Experience’ – June 11, 2015
Understanding Apple and privacy – June 8, 2015
Edward Snowden: Apple is a privacy pioneer – June 5, 2015
Edward Snowden’s privacy tips: ‘Get rid of Dropbox,” avoid Facebook and Google – October 13, 2014
Apple CEO Tim Cook ups privacy to new level, takes direct swipe at Google – September 18, 2014
Apple slams Google in Safari 7.1 release notes: ‘Adds DuckDuckGo, a search engine that doesn’t track users’ – September 18, 2014
A message from Tim Cook about Apple’s commitment to your privacy – September 18, 2014
Apple will no longer unlock most iPhones, iPads for police, even with search warrants – September 18, 2014
Google to pay $17 million to settle U.S. states’ Safari user tracking probe – November 20, 2013
Judge dismisses case against Google over Safari user tracking – October 11, 2013
UK Apple Safari users sue Google for secretly tracking Web browsing – January 28, 2013
Google pays $22.5 million to settle charges of bypassing Apple Safari privacy settings – August 9, 2012
US FTC votes to fine Google $22.5 million for bypassing Safari privacy settings; Settlement allows Google to admit no liability – July 31, 2012
Google’s D.C. lobbyists have outspent Apple nearly 10 to 1 so far this year – July 23, 2012
Google to pay $22.5 million to settle charges over bypassing privacy settings of millions of Apple users – July 10, 2012
Apple’s anti-user tracking policy has mobile advertisers scrambling – May 9, 2012
Google said to be negotiating amount of U.S. FTC fine over Apple Safari breach – May 4, 2012
Cookies and privacy, Google and Safari – February 25, 2012
Obama’s privacy plan puts pinch on Google – February 24, 2012
Obama administration outlines online privacy guidelines – February 23, 2012
Google sued by Apple Safari-user for bypassing browser privacy – February 21, 2012
Google’s tracking of Safari users could prompt FTC investigation – February 18, 2012
WSJ: Google tracked iPhone, iPad users, bypassing Apple’s Safari browser privacy settings; Microsoft denounces – February 17, 2012