Beck Diefenbach | Reuters
Google CEO Sundar Pichai takes the stage during the presentation of new Google hardware in San Francisco on Oct. 4, 2016.
Google is making changes to its popular Chrome browser in response to criticism from privacy advocates.
The company came under fire earlier this week because of a recent Chrome update that automatically signs users into the browser if they use any other Google services. Previously, it was possible to use Chrome to sign in to a service like Gmail without actually logging into the browser itself.
Google said that it made this change because users who shared devices might otherwise think that they had signed out of Chrome when they actually had not, thus potentially “leaking” data, like passwords stored in the browser, across accounts.
However, critics said that the update was executed poorly (in part because it initially logged users into Chrome without their consent), could confuse people into unwittingly sharing more data with Google than they meant to, and made Chrome a less neutral platform to surf the web.
Cryptographer and Johns Hopkins Information Security assistant professor Matthew Green highlighted all of these issues on his Twitter account and then in a blog post titled Why I’m Done with Chrome, which gained widespread attention on Monday.
Google addressed some of these concerns in a blog post late Tuesday titled “Product updates based on your feedback.” In the next iteration of Chrome it will tweak how the sign-in process works so that it will once again be possible to log into a Google service without logging into the browser. Users can disable the automatic sign-in in their Privacy and Security settings:
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