Google Chrome Gets New Android Privacy Guide

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Google has improved the privacy features of its products in recent years in an apparent attempt to compete better with Apple. The iPhone maker made waves earlier this year when its latest privacy protections were rolled out via iOS 14 updates. IPhone and iPad users can see exactly what kind of data apps are running on. collect. And apps must ask for explicit permission to track users. Google has yet to meet these iOS privacy requirements on Android, but the company is exploring similar features. While Google doesn’t immediately correspond with Apple, it is working on a new privacy feature for Google Chrome. Called the Privacy Guide, the new feature could help users control what they share with Google.

Google still needs to follow users to make money

Google is in a position where it needs to offer better privacy features to customers while simultaneously tracking them. The example of iOS 14 is proof of this. Google didn’t follow Facebook’s lead when iOS 14 privacy labels and anti-tracking features were rolled out. Facebook protested vehemently, while Google chose to quietly comply. And Google is taking similar action in other places.

Google’s iOS apps show that they collect a lot of user data from customers, according to Facebook. But unlike Facebook, Google chose not to remove a feature that would have allowed it to track users across apps and services. That’s why Google apps never ask iPhone and iPad users for tracking permission.

Chrome is one of the Google products that can help Google track users. And the company saw a lot of reviews on Chrome earlier this year. This is because Google has tested a new user tracking technology that should replace the famous cookies. However, many in the industry frown on Google’s now delayed FLoC initiative.

The new privacy features of Google Chrome

Google’s latest privacy feature for Android comes in the form of the privacy guide available in the browser app. Found by TechDows, the characteristic allows you to review certain privacy settings for web browsing.

The feature is not available to everyone by default, as it is still under development. You will need to go to Chrome and type this chrome: // flags / # privacy-review in the address bar. To select Enabled, then you will find the new Privacy Verification section under the Settings app in the Privacy & Security menu.

You’ll find the following toggles in the Privacy Guide section, which seem to favor tracking.

Feature Privacy Guide in Google Chrome for Android. Image source: TechDows

The first one is called “Improving Search and Navigation”, which sounds like something everyone wants. Google explains that you’ll be browsing faster because the content is proactively loaded based on your current visit to the web page. Moreover, you will get better suggestions in the address bar. You “pay” for these features by sharing the websites you visit and usage reports with Google.

The second feature concerns your browsing history. If you want to sync your activity across multiple devices, you’ll need to turn it on. Again, Google explains that the websites you visit are saved to your Google account. Plus, if Google Search is your default search engine, you’ll see better “contextually relevant suggestions”.

Google would like you to enable both features. And if you think they’re worth sharing your data, you need to turn them on. But if you care more about privacy, you’ll want to leave it out. Still, it’s great to see Google add this privacy feature to Chrome for Android. The feature is available on Chrome for desktop. You can activate it by following the same flag above.


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