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Microsoft Claims Google Chrome Steals Your Privacy 522

Posted by samzenpus
from the our-competitor-is-bad dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft is going on the offensive against Google, accusing the search giant of creating a browser that does not respect user privacy. The company posted a video, embedded below, on TechNet Edge with the following description: 'Watch a demo on how Google Chrome collects every keystroke you make and how Internet Explorer 8 keeps your information private through two address bars and In Private browsing.' Microsoft's first criticism is Chrome's combining the address bar and the search box into a single entry box; IE8 keeps those fields separate. 'By keeping these boxes separate, your privacy is better protected and the addresses of the sites you're visiting aren't automatically shared with Microsoft, or anyone else,' says IE product manager Pete LePage."
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Microsoft Claims Google Chrome Steals Your Privacy

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  • Chrome under Linux. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by headkase (533448) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @07:28PM (#31695066)
    I use Chrome under Linux simply because the fonts look beautiful. I also never type stuff into the address bar - that's what all my bookmarks are for. When I actually am looking for something I use, tada, Google anyway. I am fully connected to a whole wack of Google services so I'm sure they know everything I do. So what. Google is benevolent and any information that could actually be used against you will be gathered anyway by someone with the motivation and resources no matter what browser you use. Now if I get a shiver up my spine I go into the tools menu and choose: "Incognito Window" and for every keystroke being entered into the address bar you can turn that off as well by turning off the suggestion service. So, if you don't use it correctly when privacy matters to you then there are privacy concerns. If you change the convenient settings the privacy concerns go away. Harping on Chrome for its suggestion features is a straw-man, if you want to talk real privacy issues then you talk about Cloud services themselves and laws about whether or not warrants are needed for them and also under privacy you talk about how easily compromised the browser is to leak your information. The address bar and suggestion services are just cross-camp sniping: they are easily changed to what you value if you have half a brain cell. Marketing.
  • Re:Look.... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Skarecrow77 (1714214) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @07:29PM (#31695078)

    I don't like chrome because:

    A. It's incredibly god damn slow, like the "I'm sure this must be broken, it's so amazingly slow". I was having a problem earlier with a page in firefox, so I loaded up chrome to see if the page had issues there. It was so slow that I gave up, loaded up my 10.04 beta VM, loaded up firefox in that, and checked the page there. It was faster to do that. really. REALLY. I'm not kidding.

    B. "Adblock" in chrome is trash. The ads are still there, they're just not flashing at you. If I mis-click on an "empty" part of the page, all of a sudden I'm looking at god knows what, and who the hell knows what I "accepted" by clicking that ad. Thank god I'm in linux.

  • Re:Look.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @07:35PM (#31695158)

    I'm not real sure if taking up 900+MB of RAM and 1+GB of VM can really be considered "trivial". I was playing Crysis once and alt-tabbed out of it to figure out why everything was so choppy, and Firefox was using more resources than Crysis.

  • Re:Look.... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by zegota (1105649) <rpgfanatic@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @07:41PM (#31695242)
    Are you kidding? That first comment surprises me. Speed is the reason I switched to Chrome. It's so much faster than Firefox, it's not even funny. It sounds like the single page you tested your speed premise on had some issues. You might want to expand your sample.
  • Re:Not Correct (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @07:47PM (#31695334)

    As somebody who personally knows people working on Chrome, I can assure you that data mining was not the goal of Chrome. Most engineers at Google are sincerely trying to make the Web a better place. That this actually helps Google is just a bonus for them.

  • Re:Bogus argument (Score:5, Interesting)

    by vux984 (928602) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @07:55PM (#31695428)

    Hint: Your ISP (or whoever's endpoint your VPN tunnel comes out on) sees all this stuff anyway.

    They have a direct legitimate need to see it. That is precisely the service I am paying them to provide. And while I suppose my ISP *could* be using the information to build a profile on me, where i go, what email i send, who i send it to, etc, etc... I'm actually quite confident they aren't actually doing this. I know people who work for the ISP. I know a great deal about how they are setup. So... yes... they could... but they don't. I could be wrong but then a lot of people I know who should know are ignorant and / or lying. Occam's razor....

    Google on the other hand... is doing this. That's their business model. That's what they do. That's all they do.

    Hint 2: You aren't important enough for anyone to care.

    Really? Trotting that one out?

    Your wrong. Build a profile on the average person... and people will check it out. Someone *always* cares. Friends, class mates, fellow employees, girlfriends, ex-girlfriends, employers, insurance companies...

    Remember the bit of scandal when it came to light that facebook employees could and did (and probably still do) read so-called 'private data'. Build a database of this stuff, and sooner or later it will be abused by someone.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @07:57PM (#31695438)

    Iron is a chromium-fork by someone who wants to display ads on his download page.
    http://neugierig.org/software/chromium/notes/2009/12/iron.html

    1 Someone with the nick of "Iron" joins the channel and announces they're making a fork of Chrome.
    2 They ask some semi-legal questions about how to advertise it, which we can't answer.
    3 They ask some technical questions, like how to change the name of the browser that shows up in the executable, which kuchhal nicely helps them with.
    4 Then there's this exchange (reformatted to remove timestamps and add line wrapping):

  • Re:Correct (Score:5, Interesting)

    by red456 (1760250) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @08:01PM (#31695478)
    do you not think that Firefox is becoming the new IE? If I can remember correctly through my drunken history of the last 8 years, Firefox was first promoted as an alternative the bloated Mozilla - and quite rightly so. Recently though, despite all the releases and the announcements on brand new 10x-faster JavaScript interpreters I find it's bogging down to an almost unusable level.
    Once upon a time there used to be configuration to permit or deny javascript to run - now this is split into 12 different parameters, 7 of which are hidden behind the about:config screen. The default is now for pages to be able to open windows hiding the menu and status bar. WTF?
    Once upon a time there used to an option to open new pages as a tab or in a new window - now this is split into 2 different parameters (browser.link.open_newwindow and browser.link.open_newwindow_restriction) which make no sense to anybody.
    Do you expect 'backspace' to go 'backwards' in your browsing history? Everybody does - on all browsers, except for the Linux release of Firefox - for no understandable reason they decided that the Linux Firefox should do nothing upon pressing backspace, but all other versions should continue the convention.
    Do you actively use the overly complicated features of the re-written Bookmarks functionality on Firefox 3.x? I don't, nobody in my office (20 people) does. Everybody hate it.
    And lastly... privacy. Firefox 3.x made a real big push for 'privacy'. They said 'you can toggle private browsing on and off' - and 'you can delete browsing history over the last hour, day, month etc..". SUPER LIE. Try deleting your history (everything!) then go to your .mozilla/firefox/{UID}.profile directory. Now...try running 'strings' on your places.sqlite file and try running strings on the files in the bookmarkbackups directory. Yeh, privacy, HUH?
  • by nibbles2004 (761552) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @08:10PM (#31695574) Homepage
    actually as someone who has researched this , Microsoft are actually correct, and Google are the bad guys here, sorry to break it to you, but whats the difference between a company worth $billions and $slightly less Billions, so exactly why do you trust Google more than Microsoft, did Ms rob your house last and torture your kitten, I see nothing but sheep here at slashdot, i fear google far more than MS,IBM or Apple (last one open to debate). time for a new search engine as that's all they really do and it been crap since 2002.btw i do respect there stance on China
  • Re:Bogus argument (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @08:20PM (#31695678)

    Is your ISP a data-collecting advertising company, or are they an ISP?

    By law, your ISP is a data collecting company. You risk your freedom by assuming otherwise.

  • Re:Not Correct (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @09:11PM (#31696104)

    I am sorry, I can't put this any more politely. You just might be an idiot.

    Chrome Options pane [tinypic.com]

    It doesn't get any easier than that. Stop implying that Chrome's advanced page is akin to the other browsers.

  • Re:Correct (Score:0, Interesting)

    by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @09:20PM (#31696174)

    you nailed it; microsoft is a software company and they make their money on sales of product.

    google makes all their money from sales of YOUR EYEBALLS as 'product'.

    huge difference.

    as a hardcore unix geek, I have a hard time saying this, but: microsoft is almost more preferred than google when it comes to trusting my privacy. //hell just froze over

  • Re:Not Correct (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @11:13PM (#31696892) Journal

    The fact is, Chrome is the most privacy intrusive browser

    Firefox's Awesome Bar does the exact same thing, by default. IE's anti-phishing sends every URL you visit to Microsoft.

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