Launched in 2008 Chrome has become the dominant web browser in the world with 63% of the global market share.
Chrome is bundled as the default browser on phones using Android OS and on Google hardware like Pixel phone, Nexus tablet and Chromebook.
Even many rival browsers now use the Chromium Google back end to power their browsers including Microsoft Edge, Opera and Brave.
The problems with Chrome
Privacy? Never from Google
- Google does not recognise the ‘do not track’ setting a clear attempt to ignore user consent.
- Chrome is a data supply chain for Google
- A Chrome ‘flaw’ allowed sites to secretly record audio and video without warning or consent.
- The fabled ‘Incognito mode’ in Chrome suggests people can opt for a private web browsing – this has been shown to not be private from Google who continues to track both you and what you’re looking at.
- In 2019 Google announced that Chrome would restrict modern ad blockers – the only major browser to do so.
- Even if you use the ‘do not track’, adjust all your browser privacy settings to avoid tracking, use ‘private browsing‘ and multiple ad blockers Google uses browser fingerprinting and it’s other surveillance tools like Analytics and DoubleClick to track you anyway
Monopoly and anti-competition
“There were dozens and dozens of ‘oopsies,’ where Google ships something and, ‘oops,’ it doesn’t work in Firefox. They say oh we’re going to fix it right away, in two months, and in the meantime every time the user goes to these sites, they think, ‘oh, Firefox is broken.”Andreas Gal, former chief technology officer of Mozilla.
- Chrome and Chromium are supposedly based on open-source – a tactic by Google to avoid competition scrutiny – but you still require the proprietary Google product Widevine if you intend to build your own Chromium browser. Google can just say no and realistically the decisions around Chromium are made by Google engineers and not any sort of collaborative open-source community.
- Google have been accused of ensuring other Google products only work on Chrome to undermine rival browsers.
- Sources from Microsoft said they moved their Edge browser to the Chromium back end because Google deliberately destabilised Edge when using Google products making it difficult for Microsoft to effectively support its users
- Other anti-competition practices have dogged Chrome – not least on the Android platform were Google have tried to make Chrome default on all non-Google Android installations, something the EU did not approve of.
In a week of desktop websurfing, the columnist, Geoffrey Fowler, wrote that he discovered 11,189 requests for tracker cookies that were blocked by Firefox but would have been allowed by Chrome.David Ingram, NBC
What can you do?
- Have a look for a new browser and ad blockers to download to use.
- Uninstall or disable Chrome on all your devices.
- Use #NoToChrome and some of our banners on social media to tell everyone to do the same.
- Have a look at some of the info on here about other Google products and perhaps decide to give those the boot as well