January 26, 2022

PRIVACY: Google Just Gave You the Best Reason Yet to Finally Quit Using Chrome.

Google is introducing an alternative [to cookies] it calls Topics. The idea is that Chrome will look at your browsing activity and identify up to five topics that it thinks you’re interested in. When you visit a website, Chrome will show it three of those topics, with the idea that the site will then show you an ad that matches your interest.

Google says that Chrome will allow users to view the Topics they are associated with, and give them the ability to delete them. Google isn’t asking users if they’d like to be part of Topics, it’s just leveraging the fact that it owns Chrome in order to force users to be a part and then giving them a way to opt out if they want. That’s great, except almost no one is ever going to do that. Google knows that.

“At root is Google’s insistence on sharing information about people’s interests and behaviors with advertisers, trackers and others on the web that are hostile to privacy,” Peter Snyder, who is Brave’s director of privacy, said in a statement. “These groups have no business–and no right–to learn such sensitive information about you.”

Ultimately, that change in the way Google is looking at Chrome–that it isn’t a tool that serves its users, but is a tool that serves up users to advertisers, albeit in a slightly more privacy protective way–is a bad sign. It’s also the best reason to finally ditch it altogether.

I’m usually happy using either Brave or Safari.

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