Google has promised to make a few changes to its web browser Chrome. The search engine giant has come under fire lately after concerns were raised over how its Chrome browser tracks user activity online. Google has been accused of storing browsing data from Chrome in files called cookies. The company also syncs personal data across devices. These issues have been raising eyebrows but a statement released by Google revealed that there’s nothing to worry about here. Nonetheless, the search engine company will be looking at the complaints and will make a few changes on the browser to address them.
One of the key changes proposed is related to the cookies. Google says that it will add new options on Chrome that make it easier for people to clear all cookies. There’s no doubt that this is a tough balancing act. Google makes much of its revenue from advertising. However, the ad revenue wouldn’t be realized if the company didn’t have crucial personal data that allows companies to target users with appropriate and relevant ads. The search engine needs to find a way to run the biggest web browser in the market without affecting the overall user confidence. If it fails to do this, then we may start seeing a sudden reduction in the number of people who use Chrome and this won’t be good for Google’s ad business.
Google claims that its cookie hoarding policy is designed to improve browsing experience. However, the move has been criticized even by rival browsers such as Mozilla and Brave. Although Chrome gives you the option to clear cookies, it’s emerging that Google still maintains some of the cookie data. The company says that this is to help people stay signed in on the Google website even if cookies are cleared. But due to the backlash, the policy will change. Moving forward, cookie data will be cleared in its entirety if Chrome users decide to do so.
Google’s track record in protecting user privacy has been put to test a few times in the recent months. The company was recently fined $5 billion in the EU for unfair practices in its ad business. There was also some concern after it emerged that Google is allowing certain apps to read emails on Gmail. The company defended itself at the time saying that the emails are only read by trained AI and the info is used only for legitimate purposes. But still, the idea that some third-party could be seeing your emails was scary, especially in the wake of the Facebook data leak this year.
Large Silicon Valley companies have come under increased scrutiny from lawmakers in the US and other countries for their practices. Privacy has indeed been one of the hottest issues and even though most of these tech giants are trying to allay any fears among users, it seems they need to try more. It’s not clear when the new changes on Chrome will be rolling out. Nonetheless, it’s a clear indication that Google doesn’t want to take any chances with the privacy and security of its huge user base.