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

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


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3 weeks 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.
Rating: 10 Votes
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3 weeks ago
I am so glad Google cares so much about our privacy on the internet.

/s
Rating: 6 Votes
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3 weeks 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.
Rating: 4 Votes
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3 weeks ago
Yet another reason to use the Brave browser - all of the goodness of Chrome without any of the Google evil.
Rating: 4 Votes
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3 weeks 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.
Rating: 4 Votes
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3 weeks ago

Doesn't this minor concessions show that they do, to some degree?


No. They just want to avoid "bad optics". Right now, there is a push coming for internet privacy. Despite their half-hearted attempts at paying lip service to privacy, their own CEO went on record as saying - and I'm paraphrasing - "no such thing as privacy, don't do anything you don't want us to know about". They pride themselves on being able to learn everything about anyone, and they throw nothing away. They've been caught numerous times gathering info where they shouldn't have. Go look up the debacle of "Google for Kids". They offered accounts to students in order to get their foot into Apple's educational stronghold. Cheap computers, with all the apps online, attached to Google accounts. They swore they weren't gathering personal data. When they were caught they insisted that security researchers were mistaken over what was going on. Then when it was proven, they insisted they would delete the info and never do it again. But they didn't delete the info, and they continued gathering the info. Its the actual, literal realization of that old saw we heard as kids: this will go on your permanent record, and it will follow you throughout your life.

Google, Facebook, and Amazon may own most of the internet by now, but they shouldn't get too comfortable. The internet is still somewhat of a wild west, and people are fickle. Unlike in the tangible world, changing habits on the internet costs almost nothing.


This is true, and its what I hold out hope for. I was part of the statist mob calling for the head of Bill Gates and the destruction of Microsoft, as I had personally witnessed their incredibly vicious tactics. They bought what they couldn't develop, they marginalized and ridiculed anything they couldn't buy, and buried everything else under lawsuits. I felt they were unstoppable. In my younger days I had no clue about how a truly free market worked. Not that we have had a free market in this country for the past century, but the internet provided us a "frontier", where people could expand without restriction. No one could have seen how Linux would unseat Microsoft at the top of the server software market, how Apple would make such inroads into consumer gear and media professional software, or how Microsoft under Ballmer would just make one misstep after another. Now they're a leaner company with an incredible CEO, and they're actually turning out good stuff. All without trying to wreck everyone around them in a miasma of ego.

I'm really hoping that some genius or team of geniuses comes up with a truly distributed system that defies government intrusion and mega-corporate influence. Good bye Facebook and Google. I'd like to see truly secure chat and email, and updated forums that make civil discourse easier. Things are too polarized now.
Rating: 3 Votes
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3 weeks 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.
Rating: 3 Votes
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3 weeks ago

I say this only slightly joking: If they were watching users and mining user data as much as people think, shouldn't they have been able to predict this would be a highly disliked feature? Who has more insight into Google users than Google itself? For all their far-reaching data mining, and creepily specific user targeting, they didn't see this coming? Or, does Google not use their own data hoards to internally? (Is the left hand not talking to the right?) If they couldn't predict this feature would backfire, as a business owner, why should I trust them when they say their ads will target the exact users I want to target in a positive way?



You're assuming Google cares about what their farmed sheep think.
Rating: 2 Votes
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3 weeks ago

Can you provide a link for this? I tried to look it up online but couldn’t find anything.


I couldn't find much with only 15 seconds of searching, but maybe some of these links help:

https://www.ghacks.net/2009/12/11/if-you-have-something-that-you-dont-want-anyone-to-know/

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20091208/0221047243.shtml

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2009/12/google-ceo-eric-schmidt-dismisses-privacy

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/12/07/google-ceo-on-privacy-if_n_383105.html

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/12/07/schmidt_on_privacy/

Here's some good info on their general attempts at burrowing into the lives of everyone, even those who aren't using their services:

https://www.salon.com/2014/02/05/4_ways_google_is_destroying_privacy_and_collecting_your_data_partner/

This one went after Gmail:

https://www.sfgate.com/technology/businessinsider/article/GOOGLE-If-You-Send-To-Gmail-You-Have-No-4730587.php

I mentioned the Google for Kids thing earlier but didn't put up any info to support it.

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/DigitalEducation/2016/02/google_acknowledges_data_mining_GAFE_users.html

Caught, but that didn't stop Google! See two years later:

https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2014/03/13/26google.h33.html
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/mar/19/google-lawsuit-email-scanning-student-data-apps-education

Scott Cleland, one of the greatest monitors of Google's anti-privacy actions, wrote a semi-fictional article lampooning their responses to being caught taking data from children:

http://www.precursorblog.com/?q=content/preview-googles-apology-collecting-kids-sss

This one puts the spotlight on the childrens' data issue, and even shows that the creepy Podesta brothers are involved with Google:

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/sue-scheff/google-apps-for-education_2_b_5290110.html


If I have another 45 seconds later on, maybe tomorrow, I'll see if I can find more info.
Rating: 2 Votes
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3 weeks ago

Sorry, but your story doesn’t make sense. I doubt any hospital IT department would give users the privileges to install any software.


Admin rights are only required to install software that affects all users. Chrome by default is installed in your user directory.
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No. They just want to avoid "bad optics". Right now, there is a push coming for internet privacy. Despite their half-hearted attempts at paying lip service to privacy, their own CEO went on record as saying - and I'm paraphrasing - "no such thing as privacy, don't do anything you don't want us to know about".


Google CEO Eric Schmidt -
"If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place."

I'm sure Eric wouldn't mind me getting into his bedroom whenever I feel like it, going through any / all pictures of his wife & kids, since obviously he doesn't have anything that he doesn't want anyone to know about.
Rating: 2 Votes
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