10 Scariest and Most Annoying Facts about Google Chrome
When I wrote that Google Chrome is not a good idea the post got popular really fast and got debated a lot ever since. I tested Google’s new browser nonetheless and even before I could find out “how much faster it is” I was put off by a whole list of concerns and annoyances. Read the 10 most pressing ones:
GoogleUpdate.exe wants to mess with the Windows Registry and connect with the Internet without my permission, Spybot stopped that. I download legit new applications frequently but registry changes are rarely the case.
Why does GoogleUpdate have to mess with my registry? There is not even a way to opt out of GoogleUpdate. I barred it from accessing the web via my firewall.
I was just like “wow” when Google Chrome “imported” my passwords from Firefox. Did I miss the “opt out” option again? Good to know that Google builds actual “password import” utilities.
I do not remember allowing Google Chrome to take my Firefox bookmarks either. I want to keep my FF bookmarks to myself, it’s none of Google Chrome’s business.
Great, now my wife, children, employer can easily check out that I was mostly on smashcapitalism.tk, sexygays.xxx and Facebook.com instead of working. I strongly advise you to use incognito mode in such cases.
Is this really a browser user agreement or is this just adopted from other “services”? Did you actually read it? I’m not a lawyer, but some passages sound crazy: It seems Google Chrome is entitled to share data with third parties working with Google and revoke your rights to use this “service” among other weird legalese.
Updates every day
Am I really unable to opt out the daily updates? I do not even update Firefox before I decide to do so. I update Firefox manually. Now Google wants me to update every single day? I want to know beforehand why I should update and what changes have been implemented. Only then do I decide whether I update. You can’t scare me into submission with malware sites etc.
Now we already know that Google does not care that much about privacy here (in fact even Microsoft is ridiculing them). Google’s Matt Cutts (former “Head of Webspam”) cites a NYT article to let you know what Google engineers think about users caring for their privacy – they are a bunch of “conspiracy theorists“.
Google decides for me which language I should use. As I’m based in Germany I was forced upon the German version although I chose the default one (presumably English) and downloaded Google Chrome with my English language Firefox. Until now I did not find an option to change that.
I added lesser known Google alternatives to my search engines in Google Chrome just to find out that I can’t make them default search engine. Only the 5 Google chooses for me could be made the default search.
Safari for Windows:
Google Chrome is based on the same engine as Safari, which was the buggiest and most insecure browser of all time from day one. Matt Cutts already announced that the daily update is for fixing security holes, so it seems they expect plenty of them. How about not building in such holes in the first place?
Am I paranoid?
Now many of you will probably think that “I’m wearing a tinfoil hat” as they say about paranoid people. To be honest I use at least a dozen of Google’s services in spite of their shortcomings.
- Google search daily a hundred times.
- Gmail also my mails are stored in the US and can be read by basically more or less 50 different law enforcement agencies
- Google Analytics although I’m an evil SEO ;-)
- Google Docs for writing blog posts although basically has the copyright for everything you write there
Privacy treated as conspiracy theory
To make this a full disclosure I even work with a company which partners with Google. Let’s see whether I lose this job after this post. Thus this is not about “conspiracy theory” as Mr. Cutts put it.
It’s about the most basic privacy concerns plus the right to decide yourself what happens on your computer.
Google better retracts from referring to concerned users as “conspiracy theorists”
otherwise you might really get suspicious. Usually only those who hide something refer to critics as conspiracy theorists while others face the concerns and treat them with due diligence.
Last updated: July 15th, 2015 – Fixed broken links, added text formatting, subheadings and new image.
* Creative Commons image by Elias Gayles