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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Privacy Concerns Over Google Chrome’s "Omnibox"

From CNet:

The auto-suggest feature of Google’s new Chrome browser does more than just help users get where they are going. It will also give Google a wealth of information on what people are doing on the Internet besides searching.

Provided that users leave Chrome’s auto-suggest feature on and have Google as their default search provider, Google will have access to any keystrokes that are typed into the browser’s Omnibox, even before a user hits enter.

What’s more, Google has every intention of retaining some of that data even after it provides the promised suggestions. A Google representative told CNET News that the company plans to store about 2 percent of that data – and plans to store it along with the Internet Protocol address of the computer that typed it.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Peter Eckersley said he’s concerned about this feature, CNet reports in another article.

If you like to use Chrome but want to turn off this feature, right-click the Chrome address bar, select “Edit search engines”, and uncheck the “Use a suggestion service...” box. Also, Google’s Matt Cutts mentions other ways Chrome talks to Google.

[Thanks Juha-Matti Laurio!]


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