Privacy concerns flare over latest Chrome browser's 'forced login'

Google secretly logs users into Chrome whenever they log into a Google site

Google's Adrienne Porter Felt clarified in a series of tweets that the user would need to perform two extra clicks in order to start uploading their data to the cloud.

While signing into your Google account in Chrome brings benefits, such as synchronizing your bookmarks and passwords, there are a number of privacy reasons why you'd want to keep that information stored locally on your PC, rather than share it with Google. This allowed users to surf the web while logged into a Google account but not upload any Chrome browsing data to Google's servers, data that may be tied to their accounts. She stressed that though someone is logged on to Chrome, they must still consent to a sync before their data is transferred to Google. If you log into any Google service on that browser, it will automatically log Chrome into the corresponding Google account. First and foremost, they are angry because they don't have this ability to decide when they log into their browser, and second, they are angry because Google had failed to tell them about this new move. But if this is the moment that Google leverages its browser in an unseemly way, I'm not seeing it. Sync isn't enabled by default, meaning there's not much of a change for users from a practical privacy standpoint.

But the criticism doesn't stop here. But while the product is made by Google, based on an open source foundation, not all Chrome users would identify themselves as Google users as far as the company's services go or vice versa. But Google isn't seeing any more or less of his data now than before, and won't unless users opt in. He called the Chrome consent page a "dark pattern", a common term that refers to a user interface created to deceive or mislead people.

Google tucked the new login requirements into the latest Chrome update without notifying users, Matthew Green, a cryptography expert and professor at Johns Hopkins University, said in a blog post on Sunday.

More news: Brett Kavanaugh responds after 2nd woman accuses him of sexual misconduct

The Chrome team at Google is now updating the browser's privacy notice to make the new sign-in process more clear to the users, Felt stated in her tweets.

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.

Microsoft has suffered a major reputational blow due to its initially hidden Windows 10 telemetry practices, and so has Facebook in the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal.

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