back to article We're suing Google for harvesting our personal info even though we opted out of Chrome sync – netizens

A handful of Chrome users have sued Google, accusing the browser maker of collecting personal information despite their decision not to sync data stored in Chrome with a Google Account. The lawsuit [PDF], filed on Monday in a US federal district court in San Jose, California, claimed Google promises not to collect personal …

  1. Matthew "The Worst Writer on the Internet" Saroff
    Thumb Down

    Shorter Goodle: That whole "Don't be Evil" thing is inoperative.

    1. Qumefox

      "Don't be evil" went out the window as soon as they realized how profitable tracking every individual on the planet could be.

    2. jake Silver badge

      That whole "don't be evil" thing became vestigial in 2018 ...

      ... but go ogle had already dropped it as a motto in 2015, when Alphabet decided "Do the right thing" was more appropriate.

      But right for whom? They don't say ... My guess is the shareholders. So in their warped, fuzzy little brains it's OK that they are evil now, as long as they are making a profit, right?

      Some of us have been shunning go ogle since the year dot ... not paranoid, pragmatic.

      1. The obvious

        It was never really "don't be evil"

        It is (and remains) “don’t get caught”.

      2. sad_loser
        Holmes

        Re: That whole "don't be evil" thing became vestigial in 2018 ...

        Is there an evidence-based privacy recipe book?

        I regard myself as concerned but not paranoid, and use

        - Linux (POP-OS)

        - Firefox as default with Adnauseum, Noscript, and Privacy badger, and throw cookies at end of session

        - Chromium if I need a compatible browser, with Adnauseaum and SuperHistoryCleaner

        I view it as my civic duty to use adnauseum to poison the well as much as possible.

        The fact that Google have banned it from their store is the most powerful reason to install it - they know it works.

        1. RegGuy1 Silver badge

          Re: That whole "don't be evil" thing became vestigial in 2018 ...

          Upvoted as Adnauseum is a new one for me. I'll give it a try.

        2. MrDamage

          Re: That whole "don't be evil" thing became vestigial in 2018 ...

          > "Is there an evidence-based privacy recipe book?"

          Prism-break.org

        3. JCitizen Bronze badge
          Stop

          Re: That whole "don't be evil" thing became vestigial in 2018 ...

          Google tried to block DuckDuckGo too, IIRC, and that is what I use on Chrome to try to "Duck" outta Googly eye's way.

  2. Mahhn

    I hope they win

    Because the goog did lie, and they know it.

    1. Mike the FlyingRat
      Facepalm

      Re: I hope they win

      It was a coder's fault...

      Honestly... they just had their CEO up on Congress testifying.

  3. IGotOut Silver badge

    Strange People...

    ...you treated us like shit, but we'd love to use your products again, despite there being better alternatives.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Strange People...

      Addiction is an ugly thing. I feel sorry for them.

      1. logicalextreme Silver badge

        Re: Strange People...

        How could you even get addicted to Chrome? It was crap compared to Opera the day it landed and very little of the interface has changed, from what I've seen. Vivaldi and even new Opera prove that Chromium can have a perfectly serviceable UI, but Chrome's just never been interested. I see people with a gajillion tabs open in it and don't understand how they can actually achieve anything. Hell, even Ctrl-Tab doesn't work right.

        1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

          Re: Strange People...

          How could you even get addicted to Chrome? It was crap compared to Opera the day it landed and very little of the interface has changed, from what I've seen

          A few years back I had tried using Google Chrome on the MSWin7 company laptop for a remote position I was working then. It loved to crash the tab/window simply by opening the browser. I had gone so far as to make it's "home page" a blank HTML file (only containing the HEAD and BODY tags) and it would crash at first load every time. And then, since we did a lot of screen sharing for our geographically distributed team, the remoting tool put a toolbar right at the top of the window. Since GChrome on MSWin insists upon placing it's tabs in the Title Bar (precisely where it does NOT belong), I couldn't see most of my tabs because of the remoting toolbar. And even when not screen sharing, once you had 10 or so tabs open, you'd have nothing to show the title on the current tab, as the tabs blanked out where it's supposed to display.

          I brought this up on the GChrome "Support" forum, and they effectively told me "that's how it's going tpo stay, tough shit, live with it". I don't remember if there was some particular reason I *had* to use GChrome (I didn't have administrative access on the laptop) rather than Firefox. GChrome continues to be an abomination in SO many ways.

          1. logicalextreme Silver badge

            Re: Strange People...

            Ah yes, the whole application-in-the-user-profile thing no doubt won them a ton of market share as you could install it on corporate machines under the radar, as it were.

            Honestly though I think people who have lots of tabs open and don't use a vertical tab bar are cracked. Especially these days when the content of every web page on the gosh-darn intertrons seems to exist an an extremely narrow column in the centre of the browser window.

    2. The obvious

      Re: Strange People...

      When go ogle controls 90% of search, how are people supposed to find anything else/better. It’s almost as if they are abusing their monopoly and need to be split up.

      1. logicalextreme Silver badge

        Re: Strange People...

        I enjoy that nickname more than I should.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Strange People...

      The stated desire to resume using Chrome may be a necessary step for sale of the lawsuit. Otherwise a counter argument could be that the plaintiffs suffered no harm in that they can use other browsers.

      IANAL, but I know details are important in law.

  4. heyrick Silver badge

    say they'll return if web goliath lives up to privacy promises

    They lost your trust and you want to go back for a second round?

    Lemmings.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: say they'll return if web goliath lives up to privacy promises

      Not lemmings. Addicts.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: say they'll return if web goliath lives up to privacy promises

        Lemmings have an addiction too - it's just more short term :)

        1. logicalextreme Silver badge

          Re: say they'll return if web goliath lives up to privacy promises

          Speaking of which, when in the name of all that is sacred is there gonna be a Lemmings 2: The Tribes rerelease?!

  5. Trey Pattillo

    Their outlook

    no pun intended should be

    I'm not mad at you for taking my data, I'm mad at you because I can no longer trust you to steal my information. FULL STOP....End of Conversation

    Not going a way mad, just going away where you can not find me.

    1. HandleAlreadyTaken

      Re: Their outlook

      >Not going a way mad, just going away where you can not find me.

      Hah, joke's on you. They can find you anywhere.

      1. logicalextreme Silver badge

        Re: Their outlook

        Is it "finding" if they already know? :thinking_face:

    2. JCitizen Bronze badge
      FAIL

      Re: Their outlook

      The Google Analytics cookies will find you anyway. I have noticed the number of sites using them has dropped somewhat - probably because the web site merchant's realized they were competing against their own products!

      Every since I switched to the DuckDuckGo extension in Chrome, my cookie count dropped almost to zero; however, I have to support my favorite free web sites, so I turn it off for those sites - Google almost catches up just in those instances, especially if they set the 'analytics' tracking cookie. But hey, I need Chrome because it is the only browser that runs super fast on my old 12 year old desk top. I know I'm doing some damage to Google though, because they constantly complain to me when I do log into my GMAIL account or go to YouTube, which they own.

  6. SuperGeek

    "wish to return to it, rather than use a different browser, once Google stops tracking unsynced users"

    Haha, that will be the day Shergar turns up with Lord Lucan astride him!

  7. Ozan

    Never did chrome. I never thrusted google. Trusting a corportion is kinda asking for it anyway.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Just like IE - I only use it at work because I have to! *

      I'm finding myself using Edge instead of IE and Chrome - seems (so far) to work with the vast majority of intranet websites I have to deal with. Apart from McAfee EPO - but there again McAfee is about as stable as a drunk on a pogo stick in a minefield.

      * Not sure if I'm have the best of both worlds, or the worse? Whatever, it's on my work's PC - not my problem. At home I use Vivaldi on desktop and Opera on mobile!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Why the thumb down?

        1. MrDamage

          Some SJW probably lost their uncle in 'Nam, while they were drunk and negotiating a minefield on a pogostick.

        2. JCitizen Bronze badge
          FAIL

          It's the McAfee

          McCr@ppy will drag you down into the ditch every time. The only reason I ever used it in the last 10 years was the Site Advisor extension, but they started making me put up with all the other cr@pware they had, and my PC just kept getting more dysfunctional as time went on. I tell any of my clients, that if they insist on using absolutely ANY of that cr@p on their devices, then I refuse to support them.

  8. hoola Bronze badge

    Uncontrolled Data Harvesting

    Courts all over can try as much as they want to try and sort these privacy issues out but they will ultimately fail. There is so much money at stake and these tech giants are essentially unregulated that sadly, it is just pissing into the wind. Whatever regulation comes into play they will simply find a way round it and continue to gather ever more data. Splitting them up does little to solve the problem because the constituent parts are also so big.

    What do you split Google into that prevents data harvesting & matching?

    Does splitting Instagram and WhatsApp out of Facebook really change that much? They would potentially become competitors but much of the damage has already been done. Any split of a company needs to be combined with draconian data-sharing limitations. This then gives you the next problem, how exactly do you split up what they already have. Just giving the same data set to each split does not help. The trouble with data is that it is very difficult to then untangle the mess when the likes of Facebook have done everything possible to integrate it to maximise their potential earnings. The amount of cookies and scripts that are set on even the most innocuous web pages is just frightening. Yes, you can argue about NoScript and so on, but that does not address the underlying problem as most people don't care.

    The other real issue is that most people simply don't care and it is only going to get worse. The younger generations that have grown up using Social Media simply have no clue as to the implications and do not have the slightest worry about giving ever more information to these giants. Anything that is said to raise awareness of implications is dismissed as old farts just trying to interfere.

    Everything about this is a huge cultural problem that is never going to go away. The only way to fix it is to destroy all the companies, their data, algorithms and working practices. Then have a robust, legally enforceable (internationally) data handling framework and start again.

    1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      Re: Uncontrolled Data Harvesting

      This then gives you the next problem, how exactly do you split up what they already have. Just giving the same data set to each split does not help.

      Delete all the data and make them start over? Now THAT would be a punishment they would notice.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Uncontrolled Data Harvesting

      Depends on how you split it - the ads business can't be the one that controls the software running on user machines or the search requests and results.

  9. Nunyabiznes Silver badge

    Too late

    Since 2016, that notice has promised, "You don’t need to provide any personal information to use Chrome."

    Unsaid: "Because we already have it."

    1. JCitizen Bronze badge
      Meh

      Re: Too late

      Yup! They just camp on cooperating web sites and they get you there and probably even set the analytics tracking cookies, unless you block it with DuckDuckGo.

  10. jason 7

    Google records everything and deletes nothing.

    Google says - "Delete or recover deleted Gmail messages. When you delete a message, it stays in your Trash for 30 days. After that time, it will be permanently deleted from your account and can't be recovered."

    As I mentioned before, my other half had deleted masses of gmails over years and years. Yes properly deleted from the bin etc. The best you can do.

    A couple of years back, woke up one morning to find all those emails back in her Inbox. About 6+ years worth.

    Not a happy bunny.

    1. JCitizen Bronze badge
      Flame

      Re: Google records everything and deletes nothing.

      Gmail probably had a massive failure, and covered with backups, and that is where you deleted emails came from. There is just no way to win. Fortunately I've only used GMAIL as a backup account, so there is almost no critical information there. I haven't logged on but maybe once every two years, to change the password or do other upgrades to security. I refuse to give them my SMS phone number though.

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: Google records everything and deletes nothing.

      "After that time, it will be permanently deleted from your account and can't be recovered."

      Key words there are "your account". Note that go ogle does not say "will be permanently deleted from goo-space."

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