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Google saves what you browse

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | NAVEENA GHANATE
Published Sep 24, 2018, 5:38 am IST
Updated Sep 24, 2018, 5:38 am IST
Logging onto any Google site can log you into the Chrome by default.
 Internet users often fail to distinguish between logging into a particular site and signing into Chrome.
  Internet users often fail to distinguish between logging into a particular site and signing into Chrome.

Hyderabad: With the latest update of Chrome, logging onto any Google site by default logs you into the browser too.

Before Chrome 69, users could avoid being logged onto the browser while still making use of sites like Gmail, Google Search, Google Plus or Youtube.

 

This forced login means Google can purportedly capture your browsing data and associates with your account including political opinions, health concerns and other private information. Internet users often fail to distinguish between logging into a particular site and signing into Chrome.

According to Google, this update was made to prevent the confusion that was created when multiple shared devices were synced. Experts opine that this is an abusive privacy practice and Google does this because the browser can give user data they cannot get from their other sources.

Mr Ranjith Raj of Swecha FSMI said, “Chrome is known for collecting so much more user data as compared to other browsers. People don’t think privacy as a priority compared to ease of use. Chrome is a default browser in Android which is the most used mobile OS and we can't delete Chrome from it. Many websites are compatible only with Chrome. It has become like what Internet Explorer was about a decade ago where we used to have government websites which specifically asked users to ‘use IE for better view.’”

He added that there are other browsers like Mozilla Firefox which can be used. 

“Firefox is better compared to Chrome and performance wise it is now faster than Chrome. This was possible because Firefox changed its core-browser engine from C++ language to Rust Language. Tor is built upon Firefox which offers a lot of security features.”

However, Chrome has more add-ons as compared to Firefox. With this update, Google can reportedly control user access to the web as Chrome is a powerful entry point for beginners. This update marks the tenth anniversary of the product and has 40fixes incorporated in it.

A user, Matthew D. Green, pointed out that Chrome’s mandatory login policy completely made a hash out of its privacy policy. He noted that the privacy document could be summarised “as a promise that if you aren’t logged in, data will only be stored locally, and if you are logged in, all bets are off”. 

He said on Twitter, “Just because there are abusive practices on the web does not justify layering on the mother of all privacy abuses. There is a reason Google works so hard to encourage logins on Android and Chrome. And the obvious reason is that those platforms provide user data they can’t get from their other sources.”

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Location: India, Telangana, Hyderabad




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