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Chrome's sync data is supposed to be encrypted at least with your Google account password. They could be doing all that (mining, tracking) but there is a clear, legitimate purpose to this feature: providing the same environment across computers.

Syncing data between chrome environments is different than mining usage data across google's properties. It sounds like that's the beef here. Children are required to use the Chrome systems, and parents have no say in the matter, or control over how Google uses the data.

Where did they present proof that Google is data mining vs. just syncing data across devices?

If it was only being synced, it would be encrypted with a client side passphrase. It is not.

You can set a sync passphrase that is separate from your Google password.

It's Google. Any plaintext data they are in possession of is mined by definition.

If all they wanted was sync, they could use some flavor of secure key exchange to protect it, as others do.

By default only passwords are encrypted afaik. There's a setting you can choose that will encrypt everything, but then you need to provide a passphrase.

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