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The irony of Google purporting to protect users' privacy while at the same time:

- Chrome is still shipping with 3rd party cookies turned on by default (Safari and Firefox have them off, by default)

- Chrome usage stats are sent to Google including button clicks. This is admitted in the Chrome privacy policy.

- Chrome on mobile automatically shares your location with your default search engine i.e. Google

- Chrome sort of forces a login …which shares browser and user details history with Google

- Google redirects logins through the youtube.com domain to enable them to set a cookie for YouTube as well as Gmail or whatever, every time you login. Naughty stuff.

So the stated reason for the change doesn't appear to make sense, suggesting that something else is going on.

It amazes me that more people aren't calling Google out on this.






> So the stated reason for the change doesn't appear to make sense, suggesting that something else is going on.

That's unsubstantiated and dilutes the discussion IMO. If you read the post, the proposal outlines a bunch of good reasons to stop supporting UA strings (feature detection, etc)


> - Chrome sort of forces a login …which shares browser and user details history with Google

This doesn't get more true by just repeating it over and over. If you login to Google it'll show up in Chrome next to the address bar but it doesn't enable any syncing to Google servers. That's a different step and it requires opt-in. You can also use Chrome without logging in to any Google services.

I don't get why privacy advocates, who often have a point when talking about Google, have to rely on FUD.


Because most of the negative attention that Chromium receives is FUD by people that rely on feelings and not facts.

Invasion of privacy is a valid and serious concern. The fact is that Google is collecting sensitive information semi-consensually and semi-transparently and arguably shouldn't be.

Mostly by Firefox fanboys, who don't see that Firefox has been turned into a Chrome copycat with built-in blocklists and TBB features.

Because let's be honest, most "privacy advocates" on HN are trying to be purer than the other guy. Ideological purity is what they're after, not privacy.

Chrome also announced today a plan to get rid of third-party cookies: https://blog.chromium.org/2020/01/building-more-private-web-... And in fairness to them, Firefox and Safari's changes are very recent.

Anyway, Google is a big company. Different teams have different priorities. Does the US government care about privacy? Depends - at the very least - whether you're the NSA or the FTC. Given the many signs in the past that parts of Google are willing to fight other parts of Google they disagree with, I think a better strategy for us as the community is to call the Chrome team out, specifically, on things under their control and otherwise not be excessive cynical about the fact that they along a hundred thousand other people work for Google, and some of those other people are bad.

(Automatic login to Google is a think I think we should call them out for, to be clear.)


I agree that the Firefox change is recent, but not Safari. Safari has had 3rd party cookies disabled for many years now.

It’s pretty silly to claim that the (admittedly bad) privacy policies of Google, or even Chrome, as a whole means it “doesn’t make sense” for any team within Google to advance a pro-privacy or pro-WWW project.

This all-or-nothing mindset ends up harming privacy in practice.


Blink is Chromium's rendering engine. It's separate from Chrome the browser application vended by Google.

Google is not protecting its users privacy, it is protecting their own business. They want everyone's ads to be worse than Google's, so you use Google. Hiding private data from everyone but themselves is part of the plan.

Exactly. That is also why "logging in to Chrome" or rather Google is such an insidious misfeature. Soon they will be the only ones with cross-site tracking and third-party-cookie equvalents in the leading browser.

That would be check mate for all other advertisers.

I'm just not sure whether it's good or bad that antitrust regulators won't notice before it's too late.


I think that you're right. Regardless, these moves (as weak as they are so far) are beneficial for privacy in general.

I'll take that benefit even if it tilts the advertising table in favor of Google. I don't care even a little about the overall health of the advertising/marketing industry.


From my experience, I always needed to explicitly change Firefox setting to disable 3rd party cookies on a fresh install.

I don’t know if google redirecting their logins through YouTube and gmail are as bad as you make it out to be.

- Chrome on mobile automatically shares your location with your default search engine i.e. Google

Holy fuck!




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