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Chrome Provides Dedicated Privacy Options

News from Google

I was browsing the web when I ran across a statement about Google Chrome that I’ve seen echoed in different ways in the last couple months: “the reality is that Google Chrome is sending basic info about my pc back to them. Is Google the new “Big Brother” looking over everybodies [sic] shoulder…you betch ya.”

I’ve covered the issue of when Chrome communicates on your behalf before, but recent versions of Chrome have made it even easier to understand. Back in early November, the Chrome team addressed this concern:

Privacy section in Options.
We grouped together all of the configuration options for features that might send data to another service. Open the wrench menu, click Options, and select the Under the Hood tab.

And here’s a picture of what the Privacy section looks like:

Chrome privacy options

There’s also a link to this web page with more information on each option, and from that web page you can drill down in more detail into any specific feature that interests you. For example, I opted-in to send usage/crash data to Google to improve future versions of Chrome (that option is off by default).

I like that you can manage Chrome’s communications settings in a centralized location. I don’t consider features such as phishing protection or DNS pre-fetching to be worrisome, but it’s nice to give easy controls to turn features on or off. I don’t expect that will stop people from mistakenly repeating that Chrome is somehow scary or has privacy issues, but for the people that care enough to do the research, they’ll be happy to find out that Chrome lets you choose exactly how and when Chrome sends data to the outside world.

By the way, I think Chrome was released on September 2, 2008, which makes it the four-month birthday of Chrome. Happy birthday to the Google Chrome team!

published @ January 6, 2009

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