Google, owned by Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL), despite its clean slate reputation, has found itself in a tight spot over a recent change!
Recent revelations circle around a scoop that with Google Chrome 69 if one person logs into any Google service such as Gmail or YouTube, that will automatically sync them into the browser. Yes, this means that Google servers, under the hood, can automatically peep into a buffet of your information pile!
According to security researcher S. Bálint, this means that signing into Chrome 69 sites will automatically log you into Chrome-as-the-browser with the respective account.
Prior to this change, users had the option to specifically log into browsers if necessity arose. Again, users who weren’t logged in had sticky notes and noted bookmarks stored in a local array.
Google Chrome 69: Blame Google Sync for the Owl Job?
According to S. Balint, the whole out-of-the-sun business in Chrome takes in the user’s Google profile and logs the user into the browser account system via a system, dubbed as Sync!
The Sync logs in a user with the Google account inside Chrome and synchronizes local browser data to Google’s servers.
It’s not the story that Sync is coming into picture lately! Apparently, it has been present in Chrome for years now. However, this system worked exclusively for the logged-in Google accounts. This enabled web surfing of logged in users, but neither kept track of the browsing data nor upload such information to Google servers – Until now!
Now, with this hot wire moving about like a bat out of hell, a large number of users are discontented with Google’s auto-login mechanism. This sneaky revamp may link a user traffic to some browser and this will be preserved. This fact itself is been receiving the third degree from all nook and corner!
Is Google’s Decision Really That Bad?
In the past, people would sometimes sign out of the content area and think that meant they were no longer signed into Chrome, which could cause problems on a shared device. The new UI clearly reminds you whenever you’re logged in to a Google account. Plus, you now only need to sign out in one place before you share your computer with someone else – Adrienne Porter Felt
Although this change appears scary, let’s sink in the flip-side of the coin!
As one may see, this change might not be that harmful. The whole tell-tale story that the browser uploads user data to Google’s servers right away, has apparently, been termed as a mere misconception.
Google’s Adrienne Porter Felt, shedding some light on the issue, tweeted that user has to proceed further with two extra clicks in order to link the data to the cloud and this remains wholly to the user discretion.
Additionally, she clarified about the recent change saying that it is intended specifically for some situations where people, at times, tend to sign out of content and may think that they are no longer signed in, which causes issues over a shared platform.
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.
Apparently, this hot debacle can somehow be a blemish on the clean, white cloak adorned so well by Google! For the record, Microsoft too received a major blow after its hidden Windows 10 practices were trumpeted around and similar was the fate of Facebook with its long list of scandals.
Although the fact remains that Google too has been a big-time data hoarder, it still keeps its reputation intact. Now it’s up to to the brains behind Google who can dodge past these shady activities and not let it affect the big-name and fame it holds! One thing that remains crystal clear is – Inserting any sneaky and forced sign-in won’t earn any trust points for Google!