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Google Chrome may be bad for you!

Alex Christie

23 September 2009

Ever wondered why Google might be interested in building a browser and ‘force’ Google search as the preferred search engine, or import data which you have not approved – sound a bit like Microsoft a few years ago when Google and Mozilla was making a big fuss about Microsoft forcing Internet Explorer and MSN search(now Live search) on consumers.

Google is known for collecting your personal information through many of its services, and this makes it dangerous for the user. Imagine next time you start up Google Chrome, start searching for “apples” and Google suggests “Apple iPod”? Is this an invasion of privacy? No. But when Google suggests Apple iPod and you then remember that last week you were on Apple.com to review the latest iPod, this in theory is an invasion of privacy. I don’t want Google to know what my search history is, or even capture it. Fact is, Google and many other online search engines, companies or even free email providers use some of the data you submit online to their benefit as they see fit.

Here is a small list of things why I think Google can be bad for you:

Google Chrome Terms of Service or EULA:
Do yourself a favour and read the “Google Chrome Terms of Service” when you download the browser

Here are two points I have taken from the EULA:

  • 6.2 You agree to the use of your data in accordance with Google’s privacy policies.
  • 19.6 You acknowledge and agree that each member of the group of companies of which Google is the parent shall be third-party beneficiaries to the Terms and that such other companies shall be entitled to directly enforce, and rely upon, any provision of the Terms that confers a benefit on (or rights in favour of) them.

Download and Install:

Google Chrome has no “opt out option” for importing Bookmarks, passwords, other settings from Mozilla Firefox. It also forces shortcuts to your desktop, quick launch bar and Start menu.

Google Install modal

Google Install modal

The only way around this, is to cancel the installation of the browser. There is a way around this, just have Mozilla Firefox open when you download Google Chrome, and you have a backdoor pass to not import anything from Firefox!

Google Abort Import from Firefox

Google Abort Import from Firefox

Registry:
GoogleUpdate.exe wants to mess with the Windows Registry, Why does GoogleUpdate have to mess with my Registry? There seems not even a way to opt out of GoogleUpdate.

Updates every 25 hours:
Google Chrome will automatically update to a newer version when one is released. However it will still check every 25 hours if there are any updates available. You are unable to “opt out” from the daily (every 25 hours) updates. I do not even update Firefox before I decide to do so. So why does Google want me to update every single day?

An interesting fact:
The person who built Firefox, now works with Google – or for both Mozilla and Google. Do you think Google will support its own free and non-profit open source competition?

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