Yup, the blogosphere is on fire with concerns over privacy, the EULA, what information Google will/can collect when you use their new Chrome browser, etc (ok it’s also on fire over the release of this thing in general).
Matt Cutts who is a software engineer at Google and currently the head of Google’s Webspam team wrote up a great article detailing questions about privacy and how/when Google Chrome communicates with google.com. Should you be concerned?
The short answer is no. For the long answer, read on.
To read the detailed list visit Matt’s site for his article Preventing paranoia: when does Google Chrome talk to Google.com? For the shorter list, read on:
- If youâ€™re just surfing around the web and clicking on links, that information does not go to google.com.
- If you are typing a search or url in the address bar, Google Chrome will talk to the current search service to try to offer useful query/url suggestions.
- By default, crash reports and other anonymous usage statistics (e.g. which features are used most often) are not sent to Google.
- I believe if Google Chrome sees a very short, stock 404 page (less than 512 bytes), it talks to Google in order to try to suggest other possible pages and options.
- Google Chrome checks for automatic updates every 25 hours.
- Every 30 minutes, Google Chrome downloads a list of 32-bit url hashes of urls thought to be dangerous (malware or phishing). That is a download of data from google.com, not to google.com.
- When you choose your language in the user interface, Google Chrome downloads a spellcheck dictionary. Again, that is a download of data from google.com, not to google.com.
In short it doesn’t appear the is much to worry about and the conspiracy theorists are just freakin out. Not that the almighty Google doesn’t already have enough power and we shouldn’t ever be concerned. However, it appears the initial freak out by those on the net are just inflated conspiracy worries. Another bonus of this browser is that it’ll be open-sourced so any fears can be double checked by reviewing the source code.
Again, this is just the summary, check out Matt’s post for the full low down and more detailed information for each item.