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Google Chrome Omnibox alarm privacy issue

Google Chrome’s auto-suggest feature does more than just help users get where they are going. It’ll 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.

Privacy advocates are starting to sound the alarm over a feature in Google’s Chrome that sends anything typed in the browser’s Omnibox back to Google. Google told CNET News earlier Wednesday that it plans to store about 2 percent of the data it gets back, along with the IP address of the computer that sent it. Google said it won’t receive or store data if users turn off the auto-suggest feature or if they select a default search provider other than Google or if they are using the product’s “Incognito” mode.

Still, EFF staff technologist Peter Eckersley said in an interview that he is concerned about Google having yet another window into what the world is browsing.

“We’re worried that Chrome will be another giant conveyer belt moving private information about our use of the Web into Google’s data vaults,” Eckersley said. Google already knows far too much about what everybody is thinking at any given moment.

If you like 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.

Full Article

Source:→ Google Blogoscoped

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