Chrome 70 Will Allow Users to Opt-Out of Controversial Automatic Sign-in Feature

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Google says it is willing to make changes to its new Chrome auto-login feature, following heavy criticism from privacy-conscious users.

In previous versions of the browser, it was left up to the user whether they wanted to log in to Chrome while they used the app.

However in Chrome 69, released earlier this month, if you sign in to a Google site like Google Search, Gmail, or YouTube, you also get logged into Chrome automatically, and there's currently no way around it.

Google originally claimed the feature was introduced to prevent data from leaking between accounts on shared computers, but the move has been criticized for its potential to make it theoretically easier for Google to upload users' browsing history. Google responded to the criticism in a blog post:

"We want to be clear that this change to sign-in does not mean Chrome sync gets turned on," said Chrome product manager Zach Koch. "Users who want data like their browsing history, passwords, and bookmarks available on other devices must take additional action, such as turning on sync."

Despite clearing that up, the blowback has apparently been vehement enough for Google to tweak Chrome 70, due in October, which will offer users a clear opt-out for the auto-login feature.

While we think sign-in consistency will help many of our users, we're adding a control that allows users to turn off linking web-based sign-in with browser-based sign-in – that way users have more control over their experience. For users that disable this feature, signing into a Google website will not sign them into Chrome.

In addition to the change, Google says it will update the Chrome interface to make a user's account sync state more obvious. Google says the way Chrome handles authentication cookies is also going to be tweaked to make sure they don't hang around once the user has successfully signed in.

Tags: Google, Chrome

Top Rated Comments

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Avatar
26 months ago
Can anyone on this earth say with a straight face that Google willingly does anything in the user’s best interest with regard to privacy? I sure as heck can’t say that sentence aloud without laughing at the ridiculousness.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
26 months ago
I am so glad Google cares so much about our privacy on the internet.

/s
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
26 months ago
And who knows what else is hiding all that Google code? Google, like Facebook, and all the others whose primary mission is data mining, will address only what they get busted for.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
26 months ago
Opt-out? Which they know most people don’t know to do? Just to quell the bad PR?

This is why Google is scum. Not quite Facebook / Sheryl Sandberg / Zuck scum. But pretty close.

Anyone who uses Chrome at this point is a fool. Who knows what other sleezy thing Google is doing, which we will be able to opt-out of in the future once they get caught.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
26 months ago
Yet another reason to use the Brave browser - all of the goodness of Chrome without any of the Google evil.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
26 months ago
If anyone really cares that much about privacy online, get off the internet. I've stopped giving a crap long ago. They wanna make money off my info, go for it. It's not like Google is running a charity. So this is how it is going to be unless we want to pay subscriptions for web browsers and their cloud services.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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