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    This seems like a good Monday morning cup of Nope.

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      They haven’t already? What a waste of good data!

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        Perhaps they’re just now admitting to it :)

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          This surprises me too. I always just assumed they were using that juicy data for ads.

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          I like how the only thing all this negative press does is convince other companies to not do what Google does: try to clearly tell you how they use your data and clearly give you a chance to opt out of new data collection. At the bottom of that page it asks if you accept the changes. If you don’t you can continue with what you’ve already allowed (even if that is nothing). Meanwhile most online sites sell any data they can get their hands on, but because Google come out and shows what they collect clearly the community latches onto it.

          I don’t want Google tracking anything I do so I have all the web activity stuff turned off and its remained off. When I saw the ‘lets review your privacy’ I figured it was a change to data collection, saw that it was completely opt in from the beginning and relaxed. It even ends with big bold to choose accept or more options if you don’t want. One of the options is to do a full audit of your current account’s privacy and ad settings. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a clear opt in page for a privacy policy.

          Go to the page and make an informed decision instead of looking at a screenshot that hides all the opt-in nature of this. https://accounts.google.com/signin/newfeatures?cbstate=1&cbflow=promo-10-en

          Let’s not vilify companies that actual try to do data collection with consent. Let’s focus on the other major companies that don’t make it clear. Like the fact that Facebook collects pretty much every site you visit because of the ubiquity of FB share buttons (gotta get those privacy add-ons, don’t see any clear opt out there).

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            We have no idea if they actually used the data they definitely collected before this point (I’m sure they did) and we have no idea if they will actually use your data or not ignoring your response from now on.
            It’s like the secure padlock icon you see when using a secure connection when banking/etc. users don’t realise that it means “this connection to may be reasonably secure and is to someone who may be trust worthy, so in transit your data is probably safe, but who knows what happens on the backend or even in transit from the front facing secure server and the internal our outsourced backend servers”.
            That is the problem with all online services, especially ubiquitous ones like Google and Facebook, who knows what they do with your data after collection or even in the future. There is no accountability, any company can say one thing and do the complete opposite.

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              To turn it off, click the button that says other options, then click no.

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              The description in the screenshots is so vague that I wonder just what it is that Google are going to do. Are they really going to ship user browsing history across to their data mining services (I have a feeling they wouldn’t dare risk the wrath of privacy advocates by doing that… or would they)? Does it only apply when you’re using Google services (something we kinda expect anyway)?

              Either way, it’s not like I needed any more reasons to wean myself off Chrome as it is - it’s a horribly bloated piece of software that loves killing my machine periodically.

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                I’ve been happily using Firefox on Android and on my work computer for ~6 months. Last weekend I popped open an older computer I have and was surprised at myself when I was disappointed Chrome was my primary browser.

                I forgot just how awful Chrome is. It kills battery and constantly causes the discrete GPU to kick in at seemingly random times.

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                  I’m actually surprised to hear this about Chrome. I don’t actually use Chrome, but I leave Chromium running 24 hours a day on three machines (2x Linux, 1x OSX) and haven’t had any problems with it being bloated or killing the machines.

                  TBH, I almost wish it were bloated and killed my machines because it’d be great motivation to quit using it, but to me, Firefox feels more bloated, is less responsive, and the interface is klunky. And the alternative browsers I’ve tried feel like half finished wrappers around webkit (midori, arora) or are just skins over Chromium (opera).

                  GMail and Chromium are the only two Google products I use on a regular basis any more, and I’d love to quit Google products all together.

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                    Interesting, my experience has been that later versions of chrome are more laggy and bloated than firefox. I wonder if it varies from machine to machine.

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                      Over the past few years I’ve found Chrome to get slower and slower - running Safari makes the performance degradation even more obvious. Unfortunately there are a few Chrome extensions I really like, which is why I still use it (admittedly, those extensions are almost all available for Firefox, so I should probably give it another try).

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                        Hah, I feel the same way. Chrome has slowly been getting slower, but it does still feel faster than Firefox (at least on my Linux system). I’ve stopped really caring about finding or building an “unbloated” browser since my interest in HTTP has been rapidly declining anyway.

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                          You’re no longer interested in the Internet?

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                            You’re no longer interested in the Internet?

                            Sheesh, get with it! All the hipsters are using Gopher these days.

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                              That’s right.

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                          …they wouldn’t dare risk the wrath of privacy advocates…

                          Yeah, god forbid a bunch of nerds who are already constantly yelling at them start yelling at them some more.

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                            Here’s the page in question: https://accounts.google.com/signin/newfeatures?cbstate=1&cbflow=promo-10-en

                            The full page goes into more detail and gives you the option to opt in, keep current settings, or keep your current settings and go through a full privacy audit.

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                            …which can be disabled from the same place as around-the-web tracking. Which, again, should not require any explicit action to disable—as if anyone would go out of their way to agree to it, if they even knew about it in the first place.

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                              For me this article is a prime example of why anyone who cares at all about digital privacy should be using Firefox as their default browser.

                              It’s improved a lot over the years, and most of the behaviors that caused everyone to defect to Chrome en masse are no longer an issue.