Published: Sat, September 29, 2018
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Google u-turns on auto-sign in and cookie collection after backlash

Google u-turns on auto-sign in and cookie collection after backlash

A change that the search giant meant to clarify the sign-in experience in its browser instead alarmed some users who thought they'd just been suckered into having their Web activity sucked into their Google accounts.

"We want to be clear that this change to sign-in does not mean Chrome sync gets turned on".

Chrome 69, which comes out earlier this month, logs all Google users into Chrome, even if they've previously opted out of signing into Google Chrome.

Other changes include an updated UI that will make it easier to know if sync is enabled or not (and will make it easier to turn it on or off) and the ability to clear authentication cookies (which has been another sticking point for users since the update).

An upcoming Chrome option allows users to log into Google accounts without logging into the browser.

But several developers recently called attention to the fact that when you sign in to one of Google's products such as Gmail, you are now automatically logged in to the Chrome browser with your Google account. But the renewed attention to how Google collects and processes browsing history should be everybody's invitation to take a look at both their Chrome sign-in settings and other ways to keep their Web history in sync across their devices.

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Cryptographer Matthew Green, who was among the vocal critics of Chrome 69, applauded Google for listening to the privacy concerns, though he says upcoming changes amount to "damage control" and not a real change to Google's more invasive privacy approach.

"Chrome is a diverse, worldwide community, and we're lucky to have users who care as much as you do", Koch writes. He noted that this innovation was not announced by the company.

Finally, one other change comes to the "clear cookies" function.

On 5 September, Google released a new version of its Chrome browser for users. This change has enormous implications for user privacy and trust, and Google seems unable to grapple with this", he continued, adding, "Big brother doesn't need to actually watch you.

Google revealed today that it plans to incorporate changes in Chrome 70 to give users of the web browser more control over the experience.

Google, on the defensive from concerns raised about how its Chrome browser tracks its users, has promised changes to its web browser. You could navigate away from a page without realizing you're still signed into, for example, Gmail. So the company is planning to make it so Google auth cookies are deleted and users are signed out like they're supposed to be.

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