Chrome 70 Will Allow Users to Opt-Out of Controversial Automatic Sign-in Feature

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Google says it is willing to make changes to its new Chrome auto-login feature, following heavy criticism from privacy-conscious users.

In previous versions of the browser, it was left up to the user whether they wanted to log in to Chrome while they used the app.

However in Chrome 69, released earlier this month, if you sign in to a Google site like Google Search, Gmail, or YouTube, you also get logged into Chrome automatically, and there's currently no way around it.

Google originally claimed the feature was introduced to prevent data from leaking between accounts on shared computers, but the move has been criticized for its potential to make it theoretically easier for Google to upload users' browsing history. Google responded to the criticism in a blog post:
"We want to be clear that this change to sign-in does not mean Chrome sync gets turned on," said Chrome product manager Zach Koch. "Users who want data like their browsing history, passwords, and bookmarks available on other devices must take additional action, such as turning on sync."
Despite clearing that up, the blowback has apparently been vehement enough for Google to tweak Chrome 70, due in October, which will offer users a clear opt-out for the auto-login feature.

While we think sign-in consistency will help many of our users, we're adding a control that allows users to turn off linking web-based sign-in with browser-based sign-in - that way users have more control over their experience. For users that disable this feature, signing into a Google website will not sign them into Chrome.
In addition to the change, Google says it will update the Chrome interface to make a user's account sync state more obvious. Google says the way Chrome handles authentication cookies is also going to be tweaked to make sure they don't hang around once the user has successfully signed in.

Article Link: Chrome 70 Will Allow Users to Opt-Out of Controversial Automatic Sign-in Feature
 

tangfish

macrumors regular
Sep 12, 2014
191
231
Can anyone on this earth say with a straight face that Google willingly does anything in the user’s best interest with regard to privacy? I sure as heck can’t say that sentence aloud without laughing at the ridiculousness.
 

iapplelove

macrumors 601
Nov 22, 2011
4,934
6,837
East Coast USA
Im always logged in to chrome..so don't really care. I'm always using google services like google, gmail, YouTube and hangouts etc. it is what it is.
 

BWhaler

macrumors 68040
Jan 8, 2003
3,033
3,381
Opt-out? Which they know most people don’t know to do? Just to quell the bad PR?

This is why Google is scum. Not quite Facebook / Sheryl Sandberg / Zuck scum. But pretty close.

Anyone who uses Chrome at this point is a fool. Who knows what other sleezy thing Google is doing, which we will be able to opt-out of in the future once they get caught.
 

Sasparilla

macrumors 65832
Jul 6, 2012
1,500
2,388
Definitely seems since becoming a sub Alphabet company - the company and their CEO have little time or consideration for mucky moral questions (like throwing away the valuable moral cloak, however patchy and working with the Chinese government, or this auto login feature they just added and (oh so much like Facebook now) have had to pull it back cause enough users started screaming).

It was always watching users, but its leadership has decidedly swerved over to the Facebook business process now - if they might be able to get away with it and it gives Google more $$$, go with that option (Moral issues are for marketing).
 
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genovelle

macrumors 65816
May 8, 2008
1,083
940
Opt-out? Which they know most people don’t know to do? Just to quell the bad PR?

This is why Google is scum. Not quite Facebook / Sheryl Sandberg / Zuck scum. But pretty close.

Anyone who uses Chrome at this point is a fool. Who knows what other sleezy thing Google is doing, which we will be able to opt-out of in the future once they get caught.
Back in 2014 an IT guy for the hospital I was working for had to keep deleting chrome from the computers at the nurse’s station because the night crew keep downloading it. Chrome was not HIPPA Compliant because it installed a server that ran in the background that they had no control over and could not be sure patient data was not being transmitted back to Google. Whenever they did this our systems would not work properly because the chrome server interfered with the hospital servers when running. It would also block Internet Explorer making it glitch and lockup. He showed me the server actively running but you had to know how to find it. When I ask why they didn’t block downloads he said they used to but Google had recently modified their code to bypass bocks in such a way that to block it they would have to disable too many features of windows, so he just deleted it when he found it. My computer suddenly s worked perfectly after removing their server and chrome.
 

devsfan1830

macrumors regular
Aug 26, 2011
153
105
VA
If anyone really cares that much about privacy online, get off the internet. I've stopped giving a crap long ago. They wanna make money off my info, go for it. It's not like Google is running a charity. So this is how it is going to be unless we want to pay subscriptions for web browsers and their cloud services.
 

zmunkz

macrumors 6502a
Nov 4, 2007
921
229
Any company whose product is it’s end users eventually spirales into this crap. So much for “don’t be evil.” At least they had the dignity to scrap that line from their official motto.
 

tangfish

macrumors regular
Sep 12, 2014
191
231
If anyone really cares that much about privacy online, get off the internet. I've stopped giving a crap long ago. They wanna make money off my info, go for it. It's not like Google is running a charity. So this is how it is going to be unless we want to pay subscriptions for web browsers and their cloud services.

Good for you that you stopped giving a crap. But please don’t foist your standard on the rest of us. I for one would happily pay subscription fees in exchange for some semblance of privacy online. Problem is: the companies like google and Facebook don’t offer that as an option.
 

iapplelove

macrumors 601
Nov 22, 2011
4,934
6,837
East Coast USA
If anyone really cares that much about privacy online, get off the internet. I've stopped giving a crap long ago. They wanna make money off my info, go for it. It's not like Google is running a charity. So this is how it is going to be unless we want to pay subscriptions for web browsers and their cloud services.

Pretty much now how I feel myself. It just is what it is. The internet.
 

Sill

macrumors 6502a
Nov 14, 2014
733
492
If anyone really cares that much about privacy online, get off the internet. I've stopped giving a crap long ago. They wanna make money off my info, go for it. It's not like Google is running a charity. So this is how it is going to be unless we want to pay subscriptions for web browsers and their cloud services.

Thanks for sharing. Please remember to take down your drapes and blinds at home as well.


I hope someday that people understand that its not about the money being made off our info - its that these companies are scraping up the info wherever they can, as much as possible, all for the purpose of duplicating us in software. They're going to apply all the factors of our daily life to AI, and they'll be able to anticipate our actions and ultimately direct them.
 

Brien

macrumors 68040
Aug 11, 2008
3,238
951
Thanks for sharing. Please remember to take down your drapes and blinds at home as well.


I hope someday that people understand that its not about the money being made off our info - its that these companies are scraping up the info wherever they can, as much as possible, all for the purpose of duplicating us in software. They're going to apply all the factors of our daily life to AI, and they'll be able to anticipate our actions and ultimately direct them.

...Westworld?

I do often wonder if that is the end game - get inside our heads and ‘force’ us to buy things/vote for X/etc.
 

Sill

macrumors 6502a
Nov 14, 2014
733
492
Yet another reason to use the Brave browser - all of the goodness of Chrome without any of the Google evil.

You'd like to think so, but is it really? I can't bring myself to trust any code where Google had anything to do with it. A couple of years ago I walked away from a coding project when I found out that I'd have to use node.js, which incorporated Google's V8 Javascript engine. I couldn't bring myself to install their code on my machine.
[doublepost=1537971010][/doublepost]
...Westworld?

I do often wonder if that is the end game - get inside our heads and ‘force’ us to buy things/vote for X/etc.

I'm pretty sure thats where it is going. Hollywood, for all its evil, does have some people warning us about these things. Spielberg with Minority Report (watch how people acted like sheep and removed their glasses to "check in" with every face scanner and iris detector they encountered), Lucas with the SW prequels (forget the space fiction and Jedi soap opera, watch them as a political thriller and you'll see he was warning people how republics fall), numerous others.
 

oneMadRssn

macrumors 603
Sep 8, 2011
5,320
12,305
Europe
Definitely seems since becoming a sub Alphabet company - the company and their CEO have little time or consideration for mucky moral questions (like throwing away the valuable moral cloak, however patchy and working with the Chinese government, or this auto login feature they just added and (oh so much like Facebook now) have had to pull it back cause enough users started screaming).

It was always watching users, but its leadership has decidedly swerved over to the Facebook business process now - if they might be able to get away with it and it gives Google more $$$, go with that option (Moral issues are for marketing).
I say this only slightly joking: If they were watching users and mining user data as much as people think, shouldn't they have been able to predict this would be a highly disliked feature? Who has more insight into Google users than Google itself? For all their far-reaching data mining, and creepily specific user targeting, they didn't see this coming? Or, does Google not use their own data hoards to internally? (Is the left hand not talking to the right?) If they couldn't predict this feature would backfire, as a business owner, why should I trust them when they say their ads will target the exact users I want to target in a positive way?
 

Sill

macrumors 6502a
Nov 14, 2014
733
492
I say this only slightly joking: If they were watching users and mining user data as much as people think, shouldn't they have been able to predict this would be a highly disliked feature? Who has more insight into Google users than Google itself? For all their far-reaching data mining, and creepily specific user targeting, they didn't see this coming? Or, does Google not use their own data hoards to internally? (Is the left hand not talking to the right?) If they couldn't predict this feature would backfire, as a business owner, why should I trust them when they say their ads will target the exact users I want to target in a positive way?


You're assuming Google cares about what their farmed sheep think.
 

oneMadRssn

macrumors 603
Sep 8, 2011
5,320
12,305
Europe
You're assuming Google cares about what their farmed sheep think.

Doesn't this minor concessions show that they do, to some degree?

Google, Facebook, and Amazon may own most of the internet by now, but they shouldn't get too comfortable. The internet is still somewhat of a wild west, and people are fickle. Unlike in the tangible world, changing habits on the internet costs almost nothing.
 

Sill

macrumors 6502a
Nov 14, 2014
733
492
Doesn't this minor concessions show that they do, to some degree?

No. They just want to avoid "bad optics". Right now, there is a push coming for internet privacy. Despite their half-hearted attempts at paying lip service to privacy, their own CEO went on record as saying - and I'm paraphrasing - "no such thing as privacy, don't do anything you don't want us to know about". They pride themselves on being able to learn everything about anyone, and they throw nothing away. They've been caught numerous times gathering info where they shouldn't have. Go look up the debacle of "Google for Kids". They offered accounts to students in order to get their foot into Apple's educational stronghold. Cheap computers, with all the apps online, attached to Google accounts. They swore they weren't gathering personal data. When they were caught they insisted that security researchers were mistaken over what was going on. Then when it was proven, they insisted they would delete the info and never do it again. But they didn't delete the info, and they continued gathering the info. Its the actual, literal realization of that old saw we heard as kids: this will go on your permanent record, and it will follow you throughout your life.

Google, Facebook, and Amazon may own most of the internet by now, but they shouldn't get too comfortable. The internet is still somewhat of a wild west, and people are fickle. Unlike in the tangible world, changing habits on the internet costs almost nothing.

This is true, and its what I hold out hope for. I was part of the statist mob calling for the head of Bill Gates and the destruction of Microsoft, as I had personally witnessed their incredibly vicious tactics. They bought what they couldn't develop, they marginalized and ridiculed anything they couldn't buy, and buried everything else under lawsuits. I felt they were unstoppable. In my younger days I had no clue about how a truly free market worked. Not that we have had a free market in this country for the past century, but the internet provided us a "frontier", where people could expand without restriction. No one could have seen how Linux would unseat Microsoft at the top of the server software market, how Apple would make such inroads into consumer gear and media professional software, or how Microsoft under Ballmer would just make one misstep after another. Now they're a leaner company with an incredible CEO, and they're actually turning out good stuff. All without trying to wreck everyone around them in a miasma of ego.

I'm really hoping that some genius or team of geniuses comes up with a truly distributed system that defies government intrusion and mega-corporate influence. Good bye Facebook and Google. I'd like to see truly secure chat and email, and updated forums that make civil discourse easier. Things are too polarized now.
 
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