Google u-turns on 'auto sign in' and cookie collection after backlash

Chrome 69 feature is scrapped after users complain of unauthorised data collection

Google has vowed to stop automatically signing users into Chrome when they sign into Google services after users raised concerns over privacy and unwanted data collection.

Version 69 of the Chrome browser introduced a feature that automatically signed users into their profile inside browser whenever they also signed into other Google services, such as Gmail or Youtube. The concern was that this function meant user data was being uploaded to Google's servers without their knowledge as they hadn't specifically given permission with a sign in.

The company explained that just because it was signing users into Chrome automatically, this didn't mean it was tracking users or uploading any user data to servers it was just an attempt to give customers easy access to Google services, without having to log into each individually.

However, users saw this less like a helpful feature and more as an attempt to harvest user data without gaining explicit consent to do so. Ultimately, Google caved and has said it will address the concerns in its next update.

Google will be adding a feature called 'Allow Chrome Sign In' as part of Chrome 70 that will allow you to control whether signing into a Google service also signs you into Chrome. The company accepted that it may be confusing for users when sharing their devices with other users, as they may assume they're signed out of Chrome when actually, they're not, potentially giving others access to their logins that have been saved on devices.

Another issue Chrome users surfaced with Google is that not all Cookies are deleted when you opt to clear your browser history. At present, it won't sign you out of your Google account, meaning anyone could potentially access your search history, Gmail and other Google-related features.

Although not directly related to privacy and data concerns Chrome version 70 (due to launch in October) will include a new design to highlight whether you're signed into Chrome and your Google accounts and data synching status. It will introduce three new states: signed out, signed in and not syncing data, and signed in and syncing, and also a feature that wipes authorisation for cookie sharing once a user logs out of their account.

"We deeply appreciate all of the passionate users who have engaged with us on this," Zach Koch, Chrome product manager said. "Chrome is a diverse, worldwide community, and we're lucky to have users who care as much as you do."

Featured Resources

How to scale your organisation in the cloud

How to overcome common scaling challenges and choose the right scalable cloud service

Download now

The people factor: A critical ingredient for intelligent communications

How to improve communication within your business

Download now

Future of video conferencing

Optimising video conferencing features to achieve business goals

Download now

Improving cyber security for remote working

13 recommendations for security from any location

Download now

Recommended

Malicious ‘Dependency Confusion’ packages are stealing password files
hacking

Malicious ‘Dependency Confusion’ packages are stealing password files

2 Mar 2021
What is the Computer Misuse Act?
Policy & legislation

What is the Computer Misuse Act?

2 Mar 2021
What is cloud-to-cloud backup?
cloud backup

What is cloud-to-cloud backup?

1 Mar 2021
Lazarus APT hacking group is targeting the defense industry
Security

Lazarus APT hacking group is targeting the defense industry

26 Feb 2021

Most Popular

How to connect one, two or more monitors to your laptop
Laptops

How to connect one, two or more monitors to your laptop

25 Feb 2021
How to find RAM speed, size and type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

26 Feb 2021
Ransomware operators are exploiting VMware ESXi flaws
ransomware

Ransomware operators are exploiting VMware ESXi flaws

1 Mar 2021