Google started quietly logging you into Chrome with latest update, reports say

Turn on Sync in Google Chrome

Turn on Sync in Google Chrome

Adrienne Porter Felt, a Google engineer, took to Twitter to explain what is going on here.

Prior to this users had to consciously log into the browser, and users who were not logged in had their bookmarks, browser and other items stored only locally. The first impression some users had when seeing the new behavior - that the browser would start sending their data to Google's servers right away - has since turned out to be mistaken.

Google's decision to further erode its data protection policies presents an opportunity for privacy-focused companies like fearless to make further penetrate the crowded browser market. The company also dumped Google as the browser's default search engine in France and Germany, replacing it with privacy-focused search tool Qwant.

But despite this clearly logical decision behind this move, users are still angry. But its effectiveness may be limited, as people may not realize they're logged into the browser - especially if they don't notice this change. Users don't understand why logging into Gmail, Google Docs, or any other Google service would need to force Google Chrome to also connect to their Google accounts, presumably giving Google access to its browser history, saved passwords, and other personal information.

The change appeared in Chrome 69, which rolled out at the beginning of September and initially occupied users with the revolutionary/repulsive (delete as appropriate) rounded interface, which had been heavily trailed in the preceding months.

But the criticism doesn't stop here.

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He said that two Chrome developers had told him that the automatic sign-in did not sync the user's data and the reason for it was to avoid a situation where a user was logged in and the data of a second user was being synced.

For ten years I've been asked a single question by the Chrome browser: "Do you want to log in with your Google account?"

Matthew Green spotted that Google was logging them into Chrome without their knowledge.

Felt also explains that the reason Google decided to make this change was to put an end to any confusion users may have had when trying to sign out of public or shared devices.

He calls this change a "dark pattern", a term used to describe user interfaces that have been intentionally created to be misleading.

He suggested that this could lead users to mistakenly consent. Twitter is also known to be flooded with bots, fake news, and political influence campaigns, and Reddit is a home for communities dedicated to abuse, harassment, and physical threats.

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