After complaints, Google is going to give users more privacy controls in Chrome 70

Chrome warning tape

With the release of Chrome 70, Google is set to address two recent privacy concerns with its browser. Users have been unhappy with Chrome 69 forcibly signing them into the browser when they sign into a Google website, and there have also been concerns about the handling of cookies.

Due for release in the middle of October, the next version of the web browser will enable users to disable the controversial sign-in feature, as well as changing the way Chrome handles the clearing of auth cookies.

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Google says that it has listened to feedback about the changes it recently introduced to its web browser and is happy to give users more choice. To this end, in Chrome 70 Google will not only make it clearer when users are signed to their account and whether data is being synchronized, but will also make it possible to disable the link that currently exists between account sign-in and browser sign-in.

The company stresses, however, that even with the current "forced" sign-in procedure, the Chrome sync feature does not get enabled without consent:

We want to be clear that this change to sign-in does not mean Chrome sync gets turned on. Users who want data like their browsing history, passwords, and bookmarks available on other devices must take additional action, such as turning on sync.

In a blog post about the up-coming release, Chrome product manager Zach Koch outlines a trio of changes to look out for next month:

  • 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.
  • We're updating our UIs to better communicate a user's sync state. We want to be clearer about your sign-in state and whether or not you're syncing data to your Google Account.
  • We're also going to change the way we handle the clearing of auth cookies. In the current version of Chrome, we keep the Google auth cookies to allow you to stay signed in after cookies are cleared. We will change this behavior so that all cookies are deleted and you will be signed out.

Is this enough to keep you happy as a Chrome user?

Image credit: kruche_Gucci / Shutterstock

13 Responses to After complaints, Google is going to give users more privacy controls in Chrome 70

  1. nvic says:

    The function should've been advertised and had a disable option to begin with IMO. The fact the internet at large has to call a company out on crap like this is ridiculous.

    Oh well, at least they're adding it after the fact...

  2. MyDisqussion says:

    I read this week (I think from Matthew Green) that clearing cookies in Chrome clears all of them...except the Google cookies. I guess those would have to be cleared manually.

  3. RonV42 says:

    Did you say Google and Privacy in the same sentence...

    • Adrian S says:

      Privacy is difficult to get these days, if is not the OS, it is the browser, if it is not the browser it is websites and if not websites, it is flipping stores shoving their loyalty cards onto us and trying to get our data that way.

  4. Order_66 says:

    Privacy is supposed to be a myth depending on who you listen to, and yet here we have another company addressing customer complaints.

    Naturally Google can never be trusted, but at least they're addressing some of the customer concerns instead of throwing some useless data viewer into the mix so their users can see how much personally identifiable data has already been sent to them.

    • Adrian S says:

      Ms listen to customers as well now and again, not very often, but it does happen. Privacy is a myth, we just have to make it as difficult as we can for those that collects it.

  5. Kevin Daire says:

    All of these big companies want you to be signed in all the time, so they can monitor everything you do and sell the information to the highest bidder. Every year, they tighten their grip on users a little bit more. The only way to protect one's self is to move to Linux.

  6. realDonaldTrump says:

    People should stop whining. Convenience is far more important than privacy. Google should continue the forced sign in and simply add a message on the sign in page that sync is not automatically turned on.

  7. Darwin Noman says:

    This is why I stay in Apple's walled garden.

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