10 Scariest and Most Annoying Facts about Google Chrome
When I wrote that Google Chrome is not a good idea the post got popular really fast and got debated a lot ever since. It didn’t help.
Chrome became the dominant browser/spyware on the Web.
I tested Google Chrome early on and even before I could find out “how much faster it is” I was put off by a whole list of concerns and annoyances. Here are the 10 most pressing ones:
GoogleUpdate.exe wants to mess with the Windows Registry and connect with the Internet without my permission, Spybot stopped that.
I download legit new applications frequently but registry changes are rarely the case.
Why does GoogleUpdate have to mess with my registry? There is not even a way to opt out of GoogleUpdate. I barred it from accessing the web via my firewall.
I was just like “wow” when Google Chrome “imported” my passwords from Firefox. Did I miss the “opt out” option again? Good to know that Google builds actual “password import” utilities.
I do not remember allowing Google Chrome to take my Firefox bookmarks either. I want to keep my FF bookmarks to myself, it’s none of Google Chrome’s business.
Great, now my wife, children, employer can easily check out that I was mostly on smashcapitalism.tk, sexygays.xxx and Facebook.com instead of working. I strongly advise you to use incognito mode in such cases.
Is this really a browser user agreement or is this just adopted from other “services”? Did you actually read it? I’m not a lawyer, but some passages sound crazy:
It seems Google Chrome is entitled to share data with third parties working with Google and revoke your rights to use this “service” among other weird legalese.
The current one is huge and has numerous items explaining what information the browser sends to Google. Even as an Internet veteran I do not understand half of them. Do you?
Updates every day
Am I really unable to opt out the daily updates? I do not even update Firefox before I decide to do so. I update Firefox manually.
Now Google wants me to update every single day? I want to know beforehand why I should update and what changes have been implemented.
Only then do I decide whether I update. You can’t scare me into submission with malware sites etc.
Now we already know that Google does not care that much about privacy here (in fact even Microsoft is ridiculing them).
Google’s Matt Cutts (former “Head of Webspam”) cites a NYT article to let you know what Google engineers think about users caring for their privacy – they are a bunch of “conspiracy theorists“.
Google decides for me which language I should use. As I’m based in Germany I was forced upon the German version.
I chose the default one (presumably English) and downloaded Google Chrome with my English language Firefox to no avail. Until now I did not find an option to change that.
I added lesser known Google alternatives to my search engines in Google Chrome just to find out that I can’t make them default search engine.
Only the 5 search engines Google chooses for me could be made the default search.
I tried to switch to DuckDuckGo later on but Chrome reverted to Google three times in a row. Bug or feature?
Safari for Windows:
Google Chrome is based on the same engine as Safari, which was the buggiest and most insecure browser of all time from day one.
Matt Cutts already announced that the daily update is for fixing security holes, so it seems they expect plenty of them. How about not building in such holes in the first place?
Am I paranoid?
Now many of you will probably think that “I’m wearing a tinfoil hat” as they say about paranoid people. To be honest I use at least a dozen of Google’s services in spite of their shortcomings.
- Google search daily a hundred times.
- Gmail also my mails are stored in the US and can be read by basically more or less 50 different law enforcement agencies
- Google Analytics although I’m an evil SEO ;-)
- Google Docs for writing blog posts although basically has the copyright for everything you write there
Privacy treated as conspiracy theory
To make this a full disclosure I even work with a company which partners with Google. Let’s see whether I lose this job after this post. Thus this is not about “conspiracy theory” as Mr. Cutts put it.
It’s about the most basic privacy concerns plus the right to decide yourself what happens on your computer.
Google better retracts from referring to concerned users as “conspiracy theorists”
otherwise you might really get suspicious. Usually only those who hide something refer to critics as conspiracy theorists while others face the concerns and treat them with due diligence.
Last updated: September 26th, 2017: improved readability, added new links. Updated July 15th, 2015 – Fixed broken links, added text formatting, subheadings and new image.
* Creative Commons image by Elias Gayles
Did you ever try to access any Google, except .com and the country you sit in (so in your case .de), and try to search in that language?
Go to Google.ru and try to search actually in Russian… all I get is this:
Cheers from Budapest
I react the same as you about the default language feature. At least, you can change your preferences in the Customize & control Google Chrome button (right to the adress bar) > Options > Minor Tweaks > Last choice.
Hope it helps.
I must confess that i’m a little upset about Google becoming the new Microsoft. They own a big part of our digital life and it looks like we don’t have a lot of way to control it…
Downloaded Chrome yesterday and happy with experience. Like you a little concerned about privacy -none of Google’s fracking business. Before I started using I disabled the big G’s feature of automatically send your usage to Google automatically. Not too concerned about adding search engines as I change a lot based on need. I would simply add it to the browser bar or add as your start-up page. If you are concerned with most frequented pages just clear private data b4 closing browser. Soon enough I’m sure that will be an auto option.
I agree w/you on EULA and privacy Google controls all and this is just another service, which the way I read the agreement everything you do their is copyrighted to them. The biggest privacy impact will be the non-geek who does not realy how much they are being tracked with this. FF3 will still be my primary for some time.
I think that it’s interesting how many people forget about how Microsoft extended and co-opted everything in site in the 90s.. This looks like exactly the same thing to me.. Even Matt commented last night on Twitter than Chrome had already grabbed a 2% market share on launch day..
Chrome may be great, but am happy with what I already use, I have no intention of “switching” just because it’s a Google product and will undoubtedly be the first step in to the online OS.. Personally, I’d be thrilled if they would just deal with the spam issues in the SERPs and MFA sites..
your language problem: i had the same problem, after 2 times uninstallation i thought that english version of chrome is not available in germany. i did the following: uninstall the german version completely, then go to download and choose english(UK) instead of english.
That worked for me.
On the contrary I think that it’s good that Chrome uses a robust rendering engine (Webkit) and that the user ease of use will improve. I can see from the comments in your earlier post that some people have legitimate reasons for switching to Chrome.
But this is a individual standpoint as how a person reacts to privacy/choice concerns. Here is more on the EULA.
As you hinted in that other post the society as a whole will be facing a problem of duopoly between Microsoft and Google. Google and Mozilla are partners. Google is still moving forward to controlling search engines, user data and web platforms. By the time it will be prosecuted by antitrust measures it will be too late (like it was too late for Microsoft on the desktop).
One can contribute to diminish IE market share while keeping Firefox market share by pushing IE users to switch to Firefox.
Just the simple fact that the browser imports passwords from Firefox will keep me away from it. Google is the king of the internet.. I won’t let it be the king of my computer.
Search engines: any can be default. You just have to either include the %s string in your URL or do a search first and get Chrome to figure it out for you. Once you’ve done that, it can be set as a default.
Languages: Options:Minor tweaks:Languages: add…
Chrome is fully multilingual so you can actually change the entire language set to one of the 43 provided out of the build.
Agree with rss.
This is rediculous. Google won’t use your passwords they are just trying to save you time. The rest of the points are neglegable or just plain wrong.
“In fact Google chief engineer Matt Cutts (”Head of Webspam”) cites a NYT article to let you know what Google engineers think about users caring for their privacy, they are a bunch of “conspiracy theorists“.”
Yeah, well, he’s right your looking to deep into it. Hes a normal person giving his view hes not trying to warp your views or sell you somthing. It’s not in a companys interest to screw you over unless it’s name is Microsoft whom I have been violated by several times.
To the article writer, did you even look at how good this is for a normal user not just a geek? The UI is beautiful and on top of that how it works with tabs and it’s security features are a stroke of genious.
Firefox is bloated now I only use it for development cause of its extentions.
Wtf? Now I’m not an expert, but you don’t need to be to know that the default search engine and language settings can easily be changed.
So that rules out two of the points above. This was all mentioned in other comments.
My tip: Try it and judge for yourself
thanks guys for the summary,
Google is the new Evil, hahahaha
I think is great, it’s another browser I have to bug check layouts in
We are all wrongly seeing Chrome as a web browser rather than a serving application
Advice to read this post:
http:// doteduguru (dot) com/id533-google-chrome-first-look.html
Normally, i wait for any bugs to get out of new browsers before I try them out. But, yesterday, I applied Chrome. I really like it. Its so much faster than IE, and Firefox,just not for me. Ive had no trouble with my options, ive set my search, and ive imported bookmarks, all of these options, was just that, an option. I went to the tools, set myself up. Nothing was imported, until I allowed it. As far as Cuil, that site is having problems with high traffic, maybe that was the problem with setting your default. Password save? Ive had that option at the top of my screen each time I logged in. My Java in IE was always hanging, ive not had that problem since. The only thing I have a problem with, is not actually google. I cant get my stumbleupon toolbar on here. No one likes the same thing, thats why there is chocolate and vanilla ice cream.
It asked me if it could import my IE information – and didn’t offer me Firefox on my XP machine, though it did offer to import it from either (not both) on the Vista one. However, it was an all or nothing. I couldn’t let it, say, import the bookmarks, but not the passwords. As it doesn’t have the option to have a master password as Firefox does, I allowed it to import, then deleted them.
I like it so far, as a browser, though I suspect that, long term, Flock will remain my favourite.
Just to let you know, since you apparently missed it, when you downloaded Chrome, one of the first things it said was something along the lines of “Google Chrome is going to import stuff from Firefox/IE.” If you look, there was a link that said “Customize these settings” where you did indeed have the option of importing or not.
Also, if your wife, children, and/or employer wanted to know what you were doing online in IE or FF or anything else, all they would have to do is look at your history. Don’t want them to see it? Erase your history. Same in Google Chrome. Erase it or go incognito, that’s what it’s there for.
I’ve got nothing against most of what else you had to say, some of it’s right. But check things before you bash them.
I like Chrome, and I have been using it since it was released, but I do agree with the majority of the points you raised, all valid concerns and ones that I hope Google do remedy in the near future.
I don’t store passwords and stuff like that in my browsers anyway (at least not important ones), but for those who do it must be a bit unsettling to see that kind of behaviour from a new browser install… Google grows stronger and controls more of our info… but it’s still hard to look away :)
People, People, People, let’s be fair and just say that this is a new application and I’m sure Firefox wasn’t great in te beginning. If anything it will help marketers better optimize their pages which isn’t such a bad thing.
I just think people are harsh to new concepts, ideas, designs, etc. Use it let Google know what needs change, they one of the richest properties on the web, they will spend more money on this project. Don’t oust until they don’t fix things, and don’t change to peoples liking.
[…] Most Annoying Facts about Google Chrome Published September 4, 2008 Uncategorized For those jumping onto the Chrome Bandwagon, Including myself. Some scary stuff here. Not much to add personally, but wanted to share the […]
To the people disputing the notion that Chrome spys on you too much, can you explain why it needs to change the registry? What do Firefox, Opera, Flock, and Safari have in common? HINT: They don’t need to change your Windows registry when they install..
Would anyone care to explain why Google needs to change your registry?
@Joshua: Firefox 0.9 was an absolute marvel back in 2004.
The big players naturally tend to try to control the space (at the expense of users choice). Google is still moving forward to controlling search engines and web platforms. By the time it will be prosecuted by antitrust measures it will be too late.
Any webmaster can contribute to diminish IE market share while keeping Firefox market share by pushing IE users to switch to Firefox.
The issue is not whether Google is gathering information, but who that information is made available to……
The US government has statutory access to all and any information it wishes on the grounds of National Security issues. A carte blancé to investigate and distribute information to subsiduary companies and organisations in what is known as ‘creepage’.
Google wants it’s cake and eat it. Google may be sharing this cake. Through it’s recent cosying up excercises with the BBC and any other number of media players (youTube deals), I’m pretty sure search demographics are pure gold marketeers can only dream of. The Deep Packet Inspection bit is simply linking this information back through an IP, like a key to remove the veil of secrecy.
Privacy and navigation history…
Sometimes I feel that disregarding privacy issues is a little bit like smoking – you know that it is somehow bad, but you don’t pay any immediate consequence. And, most of the time, it sounds like the opposite of boring….
Gee… I hate it when UNADVENTUROUS people use BETA software and slam it for things that I can’t care about, just to look a bit cool. Heck somebody even asks why there’s no option to always start it up in incognito windows. Do you also need some kind of warning whenever you close a tab yourself? Right, now that I think about it, why is there no such option? I’m furious.
OK, I remembered that I had to manually import my bookmarks from firefox and opera, it did NOT do that automatically, and if you’re so damn frustrated, just delete those bookmarks for god’s sake.
And I don’t need to know how much you use google to judge your credibility by the way.
Good luck with your and others’ crusade for total anonymity and privacy.
Thanks, that’s the most thorough review I’ve read so far of the less-than-obvious downsides of Chrome. I’ve been debating whether to install it, think I’ll wait a bit longer to see what comes of discussions like this
It didn’t import my bookmarks after I told it not to, nor has it tried to update itself.
I get the impression you were just looking for something to bitch about.
When I installed Chrome, the bookmark import most definitely had a “don’t do this” checkbox. I checked it, and nothing came through from FF to Chrome.
I also haven’t been asked about updates at all. [Fires it up to check] Nope, no update requests.
Most viewed : Use incognito, or clear all history/web usage. Same as in FF.
Use of Safari : Yeah, that’s just dumb. No answer for that one at all.
thats horrible most of them i did’t knew. and i did’t imported anything because i was so sure i’ll be uninstalling it after a few minutes because one of my friend work in google and told me many things about chrome a day before. and safari engine just wow google. i mean if people say safari is at end i am really to say chrome is at end too why did’t they used something good to make a browser i really wonder how they are going to compete firefox i seriously doubt their success.
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Right. Chrome has been taking a lot of backlash lately, with even the German government warning it’s citizen’s not to use it. Is it right for enterprise users? I recently wrote an article about just this very topic. Have a read if you like at:
The daily updates as well? what a pain.
Maybe you should have read a little closer, because it asked me if I wanted to import my Firefox Bookmarks and Passwords.
Yeah, and while we’re on the subject, I have a few gripes about google search.
1. Saving all of the previous searches I had? Maybe thats okay for johnny mcinsidethebox, but I go to hardcore pornography at work and I dont want people to know about it!
2. Why so white? I want a bunch of adds I dont need, and links to news, weather, sports, and other topics, with a spotlight for what Brittney Spears had for breakfast.
3. Did you know that whenever you type in a search and hit submit, data is actually TRANSMITTED TO GOOGLE?! I mean, like, is this 1984? I smell fascism.
4. They change the site all the time. I hate how often they change minute details in the google website. Most annoying of these updates is th picture changing whenever its a freakin holiday. Whats with that? Why do we need to download an entire other picture just because its the fourth of july? Think of all the bandwidth thats going to use.
I used to be a proponent of google search, man, but come on… with all of this crap going on, they’re going to have to get their act together for me to use it again. I think i’ll stick with dogpile for now. I hope my nazi communist employer dosnt fire me for posting mildly disagreeable opinions on a blog that no one ever reads.
Google Spy network no thanks. Anyway it’s basically a playschool browser made by Apple.
Wow… I think I just got a little bit more stupid right here. Lets see:
Passwords you say? Don’t blame GC, blame firefox for storing your passwords where any software can read it.
And as for importing. I got questions about importing. Can’t really blame GC for you clicking “next” without reading either, now can ya?
As for the most viewed feature… Are you serious? GC is one of the few browsers that actually have a private mode!
For the rest of your moronic complains, I can only say BETA. The reason why it’s updated all the time is BETA. It’s buggy cause it’s BETA. There are more security holes then usual cause it’s BETA.
I don’t like Google Chrome either (lacking a bunch of features still), but these “facts” are mostly wrong, and in the cases they are not they are just plain stupid.
You made some good points.. however most of them were about things so small that 99% of people don’t care.
The vast majority of people WANT chrome to import their passwords and bookmarks. Now, i agree they should give you an option on the first startup (such as what Firefox does)…
remember, Chrome is BETA software. They did not say “this is the final browser”, they said “This is a BETA release”.
So, do not criticize every little flaw in beta software. Record it, and tell Google so they can hopefully fix it :)
That is how we get a good web browser.
i just don’t get whats so up with google “taking everyones info”. your ISP already gets a rundown of everything you download, plus with the myriad of satellites pretty much anyone can see anyone right now. and Google is pretty cool for a corporation. just read their actual site info. Theyre not a bad company.
note: i am actually running firefox right now (yeah, i know, hypocritical, right?) but the main reason is that chrome doesnt really have any add ons, and uh… AdBlock will never be allowed on it, as google gets its revenue from ads.
These complaints seem extremely petty (and somewhat erroneous) to me. The one about registry access is ridiculous. One of the registry’s main purposes is to store application-specific data; thus, being upset that an application is accessing the registry is absurd.
Comparing Chrome to the Windows version of Safari? Not valid. Chrome uses WebKit, the renderer used in Safari to layout & display the webpage. The problems in Safari for Windows are because the application sucks–not the renderer. If the renderer were the problem, the same problems would be observable on the Mac version of Safari which also uses WebKit. You are comparing Chrome to a shitty Windows port of a Mac application done by Apple themselves simply b/c they have one component of their overall technology composition in common. That is an indirect, erroneous, and overall weak train of logic.
The complaint regarding the “Most Viewed” feature? Wow, if sexygals.com is coming up as one of your 9 most visited sites, you should take it as a quiet reminder that your priorities are in disorder.
There are so many blogs out there criticizing Chrome as a piece of software. I like Firefox as much as the next guy. Hell, I can’t decide which browser to use at this point, b/c two really great pieces of software are out there now, both with their own ups and downs.
It seems like everyone is letting reservations they have about the rise of Google get in the way of their opinion of Chrome. Judge it for what it is–a piece of software. It’s a pretty good one. You can tell time was spent on devising features that are desirable for the user, as well as on the technology that makes everything work. That’s my opinion as a Software Engineer, and as someone that’s enthusiastic about quality software.
i haven’t tried google Chrome.. i use vista and really its taking too slow. anybody experience this?
Wow! I guess I would have to agree with your observations! I downloaded it some time ago, but never looked into it until now. Thanks!
Soon Google will know when you get up. when you go to bed and what you had for breakfast.
I was for warned early on that it’s not a good idea to allow google to know too much about you. You allow them to track you through Chrome and well like your ss# do you really want it all out there?
quote:”I do not remember allowing Google Chrome to take my Firefox bookmarks either.”
chrome does ask if you want to important your personal data from any other browser … which obviously includes your bookmarks.
I kind of like it, as it is faster indeed, but I just can’t do without my firefox add-ons, so I stay with firefox for now …
then again, once the plugins start to appear, I’ll give it a second try for sure …
There’s one vital point that the geeks have missed.
Chrome is outrageously fast compared to IE and FF. And that’s the most important thing.
Scary stuff! Those conspiracy theories are big much though. The thing which worries me most about chrome is the effect it is going to have on firefox, as google can’t continue promoting it once chrome is released? I’m a die hard FF user.
wow… WOW… there’s a lot of stuff I want to say about how stupid some of these points are but it’s already been covered.
I know this thing is old, but it is on the first page on some searches about Chrome, and I want to say how stupid the privacy thing is……
–“Did you know that whenever you type in a search and hit submit, data is actually TRANSMITTED TO GOOGLE?! I mean, like, is this 1984? I smell fascism.”
–“I was for warned early on that it’s not a good idea to allow google to know too much about you. You allow them to track you through Chrome and well like your ss# do you really want it all out there?”
The first one made me laugh. Honestly. What do you think happens to ANY data you type in the address bar of ANY browser???? It has to get transmitted somewhere, lol, how else are you supposed to get a response to what you typed in? hahaha pure stupidity there…
okay now, so what ISPs do you people use? Do you ACTUALLY think they aren’t seeing anything you do on the internet? haha… they can see MORE than chrome could ever see if they wanted to… comcast
anyways I’m sure my point is made by now…
This article deserves a review now that the browser is a year old.
Yeah, while Chrome may be faster than all of the other browsers, it’s still going to take more than that to pull me away from firefox.
Personally, i like google chrome – less clutter than the other browsers..
I want to love this browser, but until they implement add-ons it’s just unusable. When I use it, I’m constantly saying to myself, “Oh, wait–this isn’t Firefox. I can’t do that.” My Firefox add-ons ARE the browser at this point. Also, Chrome has a very bad bug that causes typing in the address bar to be incredibly slow and unresponsive if you have a lot of bookmarks (which I do). It’s a nice browser in many ways. Still not ready for primetime.
Whatever it is, I still love using Chrome over Firefox. Firefox these days annoys me a lot with its frequent updates.