Google saves what you browse

Settings showing that Sync is enabled

Aside from a redesigned interface, the browser update automatically signs people into Chrome when they sign into a separate Google service such as Gmail, for instance.

One of the largest IT product based company Google LLC launched its new latest version of Chrome browser, Chrome 69, earlier this month, users were told a lot of small changes would happen all aimed at boosting out some of its core major productivity.

Though this policy update may satisfy some lawyers in Google's cozy offices, this does not address the issue that Google has modified a Chrome feature without telling users, and that modification might lead to serious privacy breaches. Now, whenever you sign into a Google-owned service, like Gmail or YouTube, you'll be signed into the web browser as well. With settings options presented by a design and in a language Google sees fit, do Google Chrome users even know what they're really opting in for if they choose to opt-in to Sync?

If you want to disable the forced login, a user on Hacker News points out a workaround that could change at any time.

Bálint Szilakszi, a system architect based in Vienna, wrote that the Chrome sign-in change violates the "content vs. browser separation layer", which makes Google services "too deeply integrated and impossible to use in part or isolation". Google could have at least given users a heads up in the latest release, just as it made big noises about Chrome 69's other big features. The user still has to make the conscious choice to sign in and sync their information.

Matthew Green spotted that Google was logging them into Chrome without their knowledge.




The change, which was little noticed until a security researcher blogged about it on Sunday night, has left the internet company fighting a familiar criticism: that its appetite for data to fuel its online ad business trumps its concerns about its users.

In its defence, Google states that it wants to keep clear of footings where one may stay logged in over a shared device and allow browsing data being synchronized under another account, not relevant to the real user. This could be useful information for Google to build a better advertising profile for you.

Felt also explains that the reason Google decided to make this change was to put an end to any confusion users may have had when trying to sign out of public or shared devices.

Green added that the Chrome sign-in changes could have "privacy implications even if Sync is off", because Chrome developers couldn't give answers regarding the details of how Sync works. He also argues that it's relatively easy to sync by mistake using a single click, because once logged in, the browser displays a blue synchronization button that he says is ambiguous. More people syncing data is obviously a good thing for Google, but this doesn't seem to be a sneaky trick.

One problem with rolling out this kind of change without making it clear to users is that people might misunderstand what's happening and assume the worst.

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