Why I’m done with Google’s Chrome browser

“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.

SEE ALSO:
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 reinvents the privacy policy – 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 responds to Microsoft over privacy issues, calls IE’s cookie policy ‘widely non-operational’ – 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

13 Comments

  1. Apple has missed an opportunity to offer its own free services targeted toward K-12 education and beyond. My kids have had to sign up for Google Gmail and other services since the 6th grade as part of the public school system. Money is lacking in the school systems and Google was offering “free” services.

    It sickened me to have to allow that, but I had no choice – there was no alternative to that Google ecosystem. Apple began with a strong focus on the education system. Steve Jobs not only valued the opportunities that technology offers in education, but he also knew that familiarity with Apple products in the K-12 market would generally lead to Mac users as adults.

    Apple failed to capitalize on the potential of tablets (with bluetooth keyboards and styluses, when necessary) to serve as one segment of the education technology portfolio. It failed to maintain an affordable MacBook to support the education system in 9-12 grades. It failed to provide a complete and affordable system including asset management, security, networking, training, textbooks, references, media, and other educational aids to make an Apple and Mac-based system attractive and affordable to K-12. As a result, Apple has failed to support part of its core mission and values. It has also failed its shareholders in that respect.

    I am a strong advocate for Apple. But that does not mean that I will let the company off easy. I don’t expect perfection, but I do expect a best-effort every time. Apple can and should do better in this regard.

    1. “I am a strong advocate for Apple. But that does not mean that I will let the company off easy.”

      Be careful, there are some fanatics that do not let you say anything even remotely critical of the Church Of Apple unless you are excommunicated/banished.

    2. Well said. And whenever you are roused to say something like this, in defence of our kids and privacy and our educational system, I feel renewed hope. Hope that what you say is echoed by other parents in PTA and schoolboard meetings, in letters to local newspapers, in complaints to congress, and in user groups that actually value freedom more than convenience or lower taxes. What this stuff is really about is attempts to subvert childhood education as a way of insuring future sales, and votes. Don’t nobody say it ain’t.

  2. Google Chrome has never, EVER been optimised for Mac OS.
    Google Chrome Web browser has always been a complete and total hardware/software hog on the Mac!
    Total crap on the Mac! Period.

    Just switch to Mozilla Firefox or Waterfox Web browsers, instead!
    One less app or resource for Google to mine your data.
    Stop using Google search, too!

  3. Google advertisements in web pages is also a bad given the snooping that goes on. Also profits from these google ads is used to subsidize “free andriod” which means Samsung is helped directly. Samsung is nothing without google andriod. So having google ads in web pages is helping Samsung and hurting Apple

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