- Google and YouTube allegedly bypass user privacy settings on Chrome
- Google reportedly says that it is caused by a ‘bug’ in their browser
- The company could soon roll out a software update to fix it
Google continues to track you even if you explicitly instruct it not to, an independent software developer has claimed. The issue seems to be with Google Chrome’s storing of cookies and site data on a user’s device.
Even if Chrome has been set to automatically delete all cookies and site data upon closing the browser, it allegedly retains site data from Google’s own websites while wiping down everything else.
This would mean that the search-giant grants itself the liberty to store and access users’ data without their knowledge.
Jeff Johnson highlighted the issue in a blog post last week. He shared detailed screenshots that apparently show that Chrome had awarded a contentious exception to google.com and youtube.com.
This allows them to store and access user information — at least on macOS — even after the browser was set to automatically delete cookies and site data on closing. Cookies and site data allow websites to store information about users on their devices and access them when they visit the websites again.
He gave Google the benefit of doubt and said that it could be a bug in Google Chrome. Additionally, he mentioned that the exception only applies to the Google websites.
Raising doubts about Google’s handling of user data and the undue advantage its products gain from it. Google has reportedly confirmed to The Register that the company was aware of the issue caused by a “bug” within Google Chrome and that it will be rolling out a fix in the “coming days”.
As of now, there is no permanent solution. Although Google promises a fix from an Update.
Till that comes through, Johnson has offered a workaround for users who are more concerned about their privacy than others.
Google has been accused of bypassing user preferences on its products earlier as well. An Associated Press investigation claimed that Google continued to track Android users even if they had turned off location tracking. Google is currently facing multiple lawsuits around data privacy.