Businessweek Archives

Privacy Implications of Google's Chrome?


One of the things we wondered about Chrome was what kind of data would the company use the browser to collect. Afterall, Google’s lifeblood is data. I know from talking to both Firefox and Opera that they don’t track your movements.

So good to see Matt Cutts do a post, called When Does Google Chrome Talk to Google.com According to his analysis, so far, so benign.

Lauren Weinstein also did a quick analysis and he seems to agree, with one proviso.

Cutting to the chase, it appears that — with one exception that I’ll discuss below — Google’s Chrome by and large is defined to behave in a conventional manner when it comes to handling of privacy-sensitive data, including the provision of a “private browsing” mode similar to that in the latest version of Internet Explorer.

The only really new privacy-related aspect that may concern some users in Google Chrome appears to be its “Google Suggest” feature tied into the URL address bar. By default this will send information to Google regarding the URLs that you enter directly, to enable URL suggestion data to be returned to the browser from Google. Note though that — as described on the relevant Google pages — virtually all of these related features can be disabled by users if they choose to do so.

Speaking with Danny Sullivan from Search Engine Land last night, he mentioned that of course this would change if you install the Google Toolbar, for instance. That does send data back to Google. Or search, as well.


Tim Cook's Reboot
LIMITED-TIME OFFER SUBSCRIBE NOW
 
blog comments powered by Disqus