Is Google Chrome a spyware?

Not only opening up third-party cookies to track user behavior on the Web, Google Chrome is also making it harder to block those cookies than other browsers.

The web world is becoming so big that every user who thinks they are just a small grain of sand in that world, however, still has a software that knows where each click on your website is, as well as Your browsing or shopping habits while in the web world. That is Google Chrome, the most popular browser in the world today.

That’s why a technology expert like Mr. Geoffrey A. Fowler of the Washington Post newspaper (Washington Post) called Google Chrome the “biggest eavesdropper in the world”. And “from the inside, their Chrome browser looks like a user monitoring software.”

This is even more evident when he compares to another equally popular browser, Firefox belongs to the nonprofit Mozilla organization, with default settings that better protect users’ privacy.

Mr. Fowler said:

My tests with Chrome and Firefox show that the treatment of personal data is absurdly different. In a week of surfing the web on my desktop, I found 11,189 requests for Behavior tracking cookies are granted by Chrome right on my computer, while they are automatically blocked by Firefox.

These small files are hooks for data carriers, including Google itself, to use to track which websites you visit so they can build profiles of interests and receipts. enter and your personality.

Chrome offers these tracking software, even on private, thoughtful websites. I have seen the website Aetna (an insurance company) and Federal Student Aid (American student support service). ) there are also cookies for Facebook and Google, which will secretly tell these data giants every time I access the insurance and loan service login pages.

“That’s only half the problem.”

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“If you look at the top right corner of Chrome browser, do you see a picture or someone’s name in that circle? If yes, that means you are logged into this browser and Google can reach it. Your web activity to target ads, but if you forget to sign in? Me too, but recently Chrome has begun to do so automatically every time you use Gmail. ”

“Even Chrome is more frightening on your phone. If you use Android, Chrome will send Google your location every time you do a search. (If you turn off sharing location data, it will still send your approximate coordinates, but with lower accuracy.) “”

Even the two companies’ privacy statements show the difference between Chrome and Firefox. In an interview with Fowler, Google’s chief product officer, Chrome prioritized privacy control and options. But they also say they have to create a balance for a “healthy Web ecosystem.”

Meanwhile, Firefox’s product manager said privacy is not an “option” to control. They also launched a battle against user tracking, which, starting this month, will feature an “advanced tracking prevention” feature that defaults to locking cookies right from the new Firefox installation.

Block cookies – the center of the privacy war.

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The center of the battle between the two browsers revolves around cookies. These small pieces of code can do many useful things like remembering your purchases. But nowadays many cookies belong to data companies, and they are used to mark your browser, so these companies can follow your footprint – like sprinkling dough to mark when go into the jungle.

According to Fowler, the battle around cookies also shows how Google Chrome is becoming a monitoring tool.

“In 2015, Mozilla introduced a new version of Firefox with anti-tracking technology, when it only turned on in private surfing mode. After years of testing and tweaking, this feature will be enabled in this month with every website, it not only blocks ads – instead, Firefox will analyze cookies to decide to keep cookies for the important functions of the website and block any cookies that follow. ”

“Meanwhile, in 2017, Apple’s Safari browser, which is mainly used on iPhone, also began to adopt a” smart tracking prevention “tool for cookies, using an algorithm. to decide which cookies are bad. ”

“But so far, the default Google Chrome is still open to all cookies. Last month Google announced a new attempt to force third-party cookies to better identify it, and said we could count on these. New control measures for them after they are deployed, however, Google does not provide a specific route or indicate when blocking the tracking software is set by default. ”

“But it’s hard to expect it to come soon. Google itself, through its Doubleclick company and other advertising companies, is the number one cookie maker in the world. It’s hard to imagine Chrome on his own. stop Google’s money-making machine. ”

“Ben Galbraith, Chrome’s product manager, said:” Cookies play an important role in user privacy, but focusing entirely on it can obscure large privacy issues. more, because it’s just a way to track users through different websites. This is a complex issue, and merely blocking cookies will force the tracking to evolve into more unpredictable methods. ”

“Indeed, besides cookies, there are still other tracking techniques – and the race for privacy will become more difficult. But not everything is so complicated that nothing can be done.”

Currently both Google and Mozilla say, they are working to combat “fingerprinting” – a new technique to create your web access profile in a more complete and complete way to track users and ads. Object orientation is more accurate. Firefox is starting to test new features to deal with this problem that will soon activate them.

Switch to another browser?

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For Mr. Fowler, his choice of the top browser at the moment is Firefox, when speed and convenience are no longer the only priorities.

Since Firefox Quantum launched, the speed of this browser has improved significantly, although still slower than Chrome in some cases. It also has a variety of tools to enable translating bookmarks and browsing data from Chrome to Firefox. Besides, Firefox’s addon repositories are equally rich, though not as many as Chrome’s extensions.

However, this browser still has many challenges to overcome. As a non-profit organization, Mozilla does not have much resources to quickly deploy new features. In addition, because the main source of revenue comes from placing search engines in the browser, they are dependent on Google. But the company is also trying to diversify its revenues by other methods.

Even so, the most frightening risk for Firefox in the battle with Google Chrome is that someday the main sites will no longer be interested in supporting Firefox, despite being the second most popular browser on the desktop. only 10% market share.

References: Washington Post