Privacy concerns flare over latest Chrome browser’s ‘forced login’

When Google LLC launched its updated version of Chrome browser, Chrome 69, earlier this month, users were told a lot of small changes would happen all aimed at boosting productivity.

But some users now are not happy about something Google wasn’t exactly selling prior to the release of the browser. That is, if you’re logged into a Google website, you will automatically be signed into the browser.

What that means is that if you’re using Gmail or YouTube, for instance, because it’s a Google site you will be signed into Chrome 69. Users have the option to keep signed-in of course, but they also have the option to use Chrome in Basic Mode.

When in Basic Mode, Google doesn’t have access to things such as cookies, browser history and passwords, and that information is kept from the company’s servers. What rankles some users is that using a Google service in Basic Mode will by default log you into Chrome 69.

“I use a Mac, but was using Chrome for a few websites that didn’t work very well on Safari,” wrote one user, calling it a “Forced Login Policy.” “I noticed that the photo I use on my Gmail account was appearing in the corner of the Chrome browser. I have since deleted Chrome from my computer and the Gmail app from my phone.”

Syncing devices, of course, does improve productivity, but the fact is some people don’t want to be logged in and feel that pushing to keep you logged in is perhaps a little “grabby” of Google.

Others pointed out that Google hasn’t provided users with any good reason why this change occurred, adding that it seems a breach of Google’s own privacy policies. One blogger who broke down the change in detail wrote, “Google needs to stop treating customer trust like it’s a renewable resource, because they’re screwing up badly.”

Image: MaxPixel.net

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