Google Chrome – Spyware? Confirmed?

By | September 6, 2008 | 67 Comments

Google Chrome - Spyware? ConfirmedNow this is getting more and more interesting. Guys made a nice post on how Google Chrome is a spyware, indeed.

What was tested? Apparently, they have monitored Google Chrome behavior with network protocol analyzer tool and here are the results:

After typing Microsoft.com in the address field, all calls were addressed to IP 74.125.43.100 (host: bw-in-f100.google.com) which is Google’s for sure.

http://74.125.43.100/complete/search?client=chrome&output=chrome&hl=en-US&q=…

For example:

Session Protocol
----------------
GET /complete/search?client=chrome&output=chrome&hl=en-US&q=h
["h",["http://www.hm.com/","hotmail","home depot","hsbc"],["Hx26M","430,000,000 results","32,300,000 results","27,800,000 results"],[],{"google:suggesttype":["NAVIGATION","QUERY","QUERY","QUERY"]}]GET /complete/search?client=chrome&output=chrome&hl=en-US&q=htt
["htt",["http://www.facebook.com/","httpservletrequest","httrack","http 500"],["Facebook","1,000,000 results","554,000 results","87,500,000 results"],[],{"google:suggesttype":["NAVIGATION","QUERY","QUERY","QUERY"]}]

Post continues…

This shows nicely how each and every character, when entered in slow speed, gets transmitted to Google whereupon the Google system returns its suggestions that will not be modified further, the more complete your final address string becomes.
It is important to note that we are analyzing the browser’s address field here, not a Google query field
Conclusion? With its Chrome browser Google is actually monitoring your entire surfing behavior, not merely the searches you may conduct via their search engine

From Wikipedia:

… Software that secretly monitors the user’s behavior… Spyware programs can collect various types of personal information, such as Internet surfing habit, sites that have been visited…

[digg-reddit-me]

Source: fantomaster


About (Author Profile)


Vygantas is a former web designer whose projects are used by companies such as AMD, NVIDIA and departed Westood Studios. Being passionate about software, Vygantas began his journalism career back in 2007 when he founded FavBrowser.com. Having said that, he is also an adrenaline junkie who enjoys good books, fitness activities and Forex trading.

  • Trn

    That’s FUD you have there, not “research”

    http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/google-chrome-communication/

  • http://nocontinues.net Tiago Sá

    Yeah, FUD…

    I’m not suprised by this. Chrome auto updates itself without my consent (although I did consent for it to autoupdate in the EULA :P ) and the installation is so force (like not being able to customize anything…). Things like that are usually signs that the company’s attitude towards the costumer is less that perfect.

    Big corporations, that’s what you get. At least it’s open source, so it’ll probably fare well (if google doesn’t manage to tank the whole thing). It’s not like browsers that don’t have a operating system to support them have many chances in the market without open source…

  • albucian

    When you install Chrome you are asked if you want Chrome to automatically send usage statistic reports to google. Isn’t it what it is all about??? you can disable this function. So where’s the problem ???? Are you suggesting that Chrome is sending informations to google even when you disable the auto report option???? Are suggesting that Google is lying???

  • http://www.favbrowser.com Vygantas Lipskas

    I am quoting the source ;)

  • albucian

    oops sorry…

  • Trn

    It’s the Google suggest mechanism, which has been touted as one of Chromes main features… and if you read the link I posted you can find out how to disable it. It’s the same thing that is used for the (separate) search field in Firefox.

    I don’t see anything bad with keeping your guard up when it comes to privacy and such, but this is really just misinformation
    Also, could you please add some newlines to that wall of text you have there in the middle?

  • http://www.technophilia.uni.cc Ky

    Stick to Firefox and you won’t have such problems. The speed difference is not that great and the upcoming Fx 3.1 shows that it’s even faster than Chrome.

    I’ve never trusted a lot in Google.

  • Ahmed Moharram

    OK guys, i tried it, but it is not spyware or something, it is just the functionality of the auto complete feature in the address bar, so while you are typing “www.micro”
    the browser sends and auto complete request to Google to get most popular websites starting with “www.micro”.

  • april

    Does this happen when you are browsing “incognito”?

    I just started using Chrome about an hour ago, but it seems like in “incognito” mode it only suggests pages from your history, so I wonder if it is sending anything back to Google at the same time?

  • http://www.surfchrome.com/index.php/home/news-list-mode/77-google-chrome-spyware chrome

    I don’t believe Chrome is spyware. You opt in when you install the software and you can disable any reporting via the Options > Under the Hood tab. It also goes back to Google for updates every day and also downloads malware and phishing sites throughout the day. That’s my take which is written up on my site. JMHO.

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  • Doug Rosbury

    If you look for something in such paranoid fashion, you deserve what you get.—Doug

  • Yuusha

    Someone obviously has no idea what “spyware” is. Spyware is software that is installed without the user’s consent and takes control of the user’s interaction with the computer.

    Explain how Chrome is spyware.

  • James

    Hi, I found your blog on this new directory of WordPress Blogs at blackhatbootcamp.com/listofwordpressblogs. I dont know how your blog came up, must have been a typo, i duno. Anyways, I just clicked it and here I am. Your blog looks good. Have a nice day. James.

  • kross

    @Yuusha your a dumb ass its spy ware that monitors and its Add ware that takes control of a computer.

  • Trn

    Someone just kicked his own ass it seems

    Spyware secretly monitors the user.

    Adware displays ads, some while the program is being used others pops up in, for example, a browser window. Some of them also download ads from a server.

    What you’re thinking about, “kross”, is called “Malware” , or more specifically rootkit or a trojan horse.

  • Uberdork

    IF all that info gets stored on a central server and gets processed, then yes you have something to worry about. Or let’s just say that Google will be making some money out of their open source browser ;)

    It’s interesting to try and find if the same thing happens when surfing “incognito”, and if you can turn “incognito” always on, or if you can simply disable the autocomplete feature in the preferences. “Hacking” it away does not count, as most people would be able to complete the task.

    Google also monitors Gmail, mind you, so I really don’t see what’s all the fuss about… Most of your (and mine) private data has already been compromised…

    Long live 3ch3lon :P

  • Uberdork

    *would be unable. not able. My bad :)

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  • http://www.spywareadwarehelp.com Mark

    Personally I’m still sticking with Firefox, mainly because of all it’s addons. I like what I’ve seen of Google Chrome, and will probably give it another go once it is out of beta (All Google software comes out of beta eventually, doesn’t it? :P)

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  • Rubik

    Ight look Yuushas right thts what spyware n personally id stay with firefox but its not only the speed that chrome has an advantage to. if you look at where it displays ur tabs it takes up much less space then firefox allowing more of the page to display. also, when chrome crashes u only closes that specific tab u dont have to close the whole window.

  • Robbie

    I wouldn’t be too surprised if google’s browser DOES Spy on us, after all, Google are a business..every1 forgets that.
    Of course, Google would probably say that by Spying on us they will be in a position to give us results based on where we are, what we often look at etc but personally I’d prefer to search for 5 minutes than 30seconds if searching longer keeps my Privacy intact.

  • Doug Rosbury

    No thanks to Chrome. I feel much more comfortable with Flock or Firefox..–Doug

  • Green Williams

    Let me guess. You expected Google to wake up one day, dole millions of dollars into a web browser and have it expect and accept absolutely nothing in return. Wake up! Googleplex does not house a collection of idiots. Google has to get a ROI somehow. Despite its support for open source, Google is not a charity!

  • Jan

    idiot is anyone who installs this suspicious software, so be my guest.

  • http://www.crackgoogle.com Increase Search Engine Ranking

    1. Microsoft has “easter eggs” in their software. Look up Star Wars XP egg and you will see. Then ask yourself the following.

    a. What the @#%# biz does MS have putting backdoors in software that is used throughout the government and biz community as well as for the rest of us.

    b. Do they have a back door that can say, turn on your microphone or webcam or anything else for that matter? iPhone has a backdoor that can enable the microphone for the government and nobody seems to care about that.

    c. what the heck is ms doing putting ANY easter eggs in their software. (why do you think Germany and China use Linux in their govermental offices).

    2. Google is pure spyware. That is why they LOVE ajax. You type it, they got it. May as well be a keylogger. Oh, but don’t worry, they are not evil, lol.

    As I listen to people casually give away not only THEIR information, but ANYONE WHO THEY CONNECT WITH, I can only laugh to myself and remember a sucker is born every second. Like Google cares a whoot about you? You deserve exactly what you get, but what isn’t fair is those you comprise when you email them. It is inconsiderate, selfish, and foolish. You trust Google? You trust MS? You trust the government? Have you learned anything?

    I know, I know, if you aren’t doing anything wrong then why should you care right? Lol, who says what is right and wrong? Today’s right may be VERY wrong tomorrow. So you fools keep giving your privacy away and compromising others through your inconsiderate actions (emailing them from your gmail account with personal references to their lives that you DID NOT ask them to FEED TO THE GOOGLEMONSTER. And yes, you are being inconsiderate and IGNORANT to those who gave you the privlege of having their email).

    Google is NOT JUST INTERESTED IN YOUR BROWSING HABITS so they can “serve you better”. I mean come on already and please wake up to how this game is played. At least just admit that you are ignorant, inconsiderate and blind and that is why you use gmail, chrome and whatever else. The bottom line is that you are lazy.

    At least learn about the value of being able ot access the source code. And what about how they did a 180 on Firefox. That was pretty “evil” if you ask me. But you didn’t ask me did you….

    • Name Required

      They call it the world wide web because its sticky and GUI and full of “Bugs”. >:-(
      I don’t care much about echelon wiretapping but all trojan horses go to hell.

      Don’t even trust browsers in Linux without checking all the source code including plugins.
      If I didn’t and you didn’t, who did?

      By the way, What is “Mozilla Chrome”? (in firefox)
      “Keymaster Gatekeeper There is No Data There is only XUL” … So, Call the ghost busters?

    • czerro

      Wow this entire thread is full of misinformed people without the most basic level of tech savvy. The guy that thinks Star Wars XP is an easter egg in windows…please face palm yourself. Telnet is a piece of text based communications software. Star Wars XP is animated ascii art hosted on a website that can be accessed via telent. It is not infact a backdoor, easter egg.

      I like the suggestions to get “cookie-blockers”. This would only make sense if google was tracking you via cookie, which they are not. They are tracking you directly via communications with google inherit in the autosuggest code. Why do any of you bother to reply to these things when you don’t even understand the situation or possess a basic grasp of the concepts? Apparently, the purpose is to allow you to go on a misinformed tirade about privacy and evil Google, and any other sort of random thing you clumsily pretend to understand. Ironic, as the solution to this shady behavior on Google’s behalf is quite simple: DON’T USE CHROME or GOOGLE!

      • Pawlud

        Google, and certainly Gmail, is not private. I have noticed that the adverts I see on gmail, are very much related to the subject of my sent and received emails on gmail !

  • TT

    Take off that tinfoil-hat and look at the sunshine!
    (Next he’s going to tell us to stop using the internet completely because our ISPs have access to Everything we do…)

  • http://www.CrackGoogle.com Increase Search Engine Ranking

    You need to stop staring at the sun too much as it is causing you to go blind ;-)

    I know a thing or two about ISPs. Info is for sale from any router monkey at the major telecom/ISPs.

    If you don’t believe datamining is happening to get an edge on the stock market and the like, then you are naive. You don’t think Google insiders have an edge as to when a stock will move based on chatter? What about the RIMM insiders? How many VC and banking firms carry a BB?

    Wake up and loose the dissmissive rhetoric and standard tinfoil hate reply (you can’t even come up with your own line, you have to clone what everyone else who holds your position would say. Huh hum, see what I mean? You are a follower. A lemming. A mind controlled and conditioned servant.) Learn to come up with your own lines and don’t assume you can be dissmissive because you are too lazy to actually reply with counter points. (hence proving that you are indeed lazy and fitting the stereotype of a googlette lemming).

    Anyway, thanks for proving my points in regards to my opinion. You didn’t let us down ;-)

  • http://www.photo.net/valsavo.com Valerie Savoie

    I am a novice compared to you guys. I can tell you when I attempted to download google earth, I could not not, understandably, without also downloading google chrome. Each attempt I received a warning of “trojan horse” and the option to exclude it. Doing so, I was able to complete the installation of chrome though not of google earth. Deleted chrome, and don’t trust them after reading these post. Thanks for the feedback here…very helpful. Valerie

  • http://Dont.have.a.website.com Sean Matt

    Once money starts slipping out of my bank account, then I will be worried.
    For now, they are just seeing what porn I look at…

  • Nacho

    Hey
    I Was using Firefox after years of bugs and horses from IE.
    At least 1 and 1/2 year bug free with Firefox.

    Installed Chrome last week and since then Im busy to clean my cmp.
    After 1 week Chrome I had a horse which was capable to block all google search for requests for anti malware or topics about that horse.
    Ran more programs and had as Result: 5 Trojan and some malware.
    (was expecting my anti virus would protect)

    • JV

      As for the idiot somewhere up the page who said spyware isn’t installed with the users consent… I bet you have lots running on your pc right now. Almost every virus/trojan/worm/spy/adware is attached to a program the user tries to install.

      Yes microsoft, probably mac, and every other commercial OS will have backdoors…

      Quite frankly they don’t even need them any more, laws have been passed so now not only is any government in the US, EU, russia/china ect able to read your internet usage, they record it for 12 months or more, and its even admissible as evidence in court, without any warrant. (http://www.internationalfreepresssociety.org/2009/04/eu-directive-internet-records-to-be-stored-for-a-year/)

      When we look at google we see that selling the locations of Christians to the Chinese government makes them very untrustworthy…

      If the Chinese government ever falls google will be charged with communism, accessory to torture and accessory to mass murder. But it probably won’t so they will just sell addresses to government death squads in the meantime…

      Honestly, the safest bet would be to write your own OS but that might be more painful than the torture, your choice ;)

  • djames

    Hey Guys,
    I read all good arguments regarding the G C,one thing you guys must remember always,when you don’t like the product please uninstall it simple solution?,I’m using it and I have set up my G C browser with all the add ons b locked and it works fine.don’t just click the “next” button without reading the contents.hey I’m not a pro but it works fine for me.

  • google = spyware

    Google chrome is spyware

    and so are the cookies that google puts on your computer.

    Don’t use it, use Firefox.

    • X

      Firefox is spyware

      and so are the cookies that Firefox puts on your computer.

      Don’t use it, use Chrome.

      See how easy that was to turn around?

      Firefox fanboy cocksucker.

      • wislam

        How in the world is Firefox spyware?!?

        It doesn’t require any explanation (if you have, and actively use your brain) that Google is an advert company, most of Google’s profit comes directly from ads – it doesn’t require a genius to figure out how much data Google hold on you. Seriously, think just for a minute about the number of Google products and the data they hold.

        Also use your brain to think about this – that Google stole Webkit code and developed yet another browser – what in the world was the point of that when they could have simply contributed to Firefox or Safari code?!

        They haven’t created anything new or clever or innovative, it’s just the same stuff, but basically spyware from the world’s biggest advert corporation.

  • John

    I agree, how can a company involved in “spyware” (google adds)
    create something that is not interested in my “surf” behaviour.

    It’s so obvious

  • eric

    anyone who dosent accept the fact that chrome is spyware is a IDIOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.they milked there toolbar for all it was worth and came up with a even better way to spy on you.i dont use any toolbars much less google and i sure as hell aint going to use there newest data mining creation a.k.a known as google chrome.ill stick with firefox or opera and google can kiss my ass.!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Doug Rosbury

    Please stay out of my e-mail with your profane language.
    Doug Rosbury

  • Jeff1244

    Who cares as long it is faster better nicer…They put million of dollar making chrome browser.of cos they need something in return.hehe i like the incognito function it pwns ^^

  • Lincoln

    What the hell this chrome ya’ll talk about? I GOTS chrome on my ’78 Caddy fool!!

  • ben

    Ok, so is there any problem to ask Google if they collect all aoutfills in some DataBase ?
    Is that written in a Disclaimer or  Agreement while installing Chrome ?
    If not, we can ask Google about that ?
    Where should I go to ask if they keep all the websites address I type into their awesome autofilling address bar window ?
    If they do that (and I am pretty sure they do) they have a nice DB of websites I visited not only from my search results (which are saved in my google account web browsing history), but also those addresses I type without using any google website.
    So maybe I would like to have them also in my Google Account web browsing history ? Why not ? If they have them, they should show us those URLs.
     
    WHERE IS A WINDOW IN THE INTERNET WHERE WE CAN ASK QUESTION TO GOOGLE ?
     
    :)

  • http://yuraconst.ya.ru GorillaPig

    Firefuuugs SUBMITS2GOOGLE too. Russian Firefox submits to Yandex. Opera is the only browser that is NOT A SLAVE. Safari submits to YAHOO, BING, GOOGLE.
    Opera develops their browser off “port-to” funds and sales of DS cartridges of Opera. This is the safety reason. Plus, you don’t need a snotty plugin for your AV to block bad sites (difference from Firefox).
    internal browsers (goats) – IE/Safari – are crap, plus presence of both on one machine will destroy it (hey, MS and @pple are at war!).
    Gotta try Chromium – maybe it’s like chrome without google-spy? still, lack of a menu bar is annoying.
    Someone said “firefox eats too much vertical space” – Classic Compact theme is for you. :) Plus you can choose to “hide tabs panel when there’s only one tab”.
    Someone said about “enabling microphone/webcam without your consent” – hey! you may make it so that webcam can only be enabled with a button on it (that will also render mic useless).
    oh and hey, most “open” software has spyware that spies for FSF/GNU!

  • chris

    Every time you type in a url it is being stored by google, regardless of whether you are doing a search.  Autosuggest can be useful if you are actually doing a search but chrome does not have a seperate search box.  So you either have no autosuggest or they record every key stroke. This is stored indefinitely.  Also if you’ve logged into gmail recently and haven’t explicitly logged out they associate every one of your search results with your email address.  If any other organisation in the world was doing this people would be up in arms, but for some reason people seem to have a naive trust in google.

    • http://ukspreads.co.uk/troops.html Davell

      Why use google anyway? Ixquick is just as good and is completely safe!

  • Jack Miracle

    Google Chrome=Bonzi buddy for the new generation.
     
     

  • http://yuraconst.ya.ru Shitterwing

    CHROME IS A TOTAL DIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII**!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Bimbo !

    YES, GOOGLE IS SPYING EVERYONE ! That’s how they have a stock priced $500 on NYSE ! They spy everyone and they want to totally spy everyone through their dumb browser which sends everything you do to them. I guess Google is even worst than Microsoft.

    And now let’s be reasonable, do we really need any of those ? Do we need Microsoft when there is Linux and FreeBSD around ? No, we don’t ! Do we need Google, when there are a lot of other webmail providers ?! or even better we all can have a domain and mailbox if needed ?! No, we don’t AND they know it !

    Is all about that, they want to spy on you so they know everything, they make millions on your behavior, predictions, sticking ads to your throat, giving you biased results in searches, spying your mail boxes, chats and all. They want to know what you think, so they can MANIPULATE you based on your thoughts expressed in your search engines. They know your questions, they can fabricate you answers, got it ? Stay away from Google if you got it and have some brain that still runs. Stay away from Microsoft too, as much as you can, away from facebook, twitter and other useless spy agencies nicely dressed. I guess they are run by the same people anyway.

    But back to business, you can add cookie blocker and in firefox and about:config, you can erase all that contains google. You can also install adblock addon and block google analytics and other forms of spyware, like social buttons and all that garbage that shouldn’t be spread all over the web in an attempt to recruit you and spy on you.

    You can use other search engines like dudcduckgo.com, ixquick.com, startingpage.com, scroogle.com, aimed at privacy protection and forget about the corporate internet ! And stay away from the Google OS, that’s the most evil thing in web history, it’s a try to steal all your computer from you, luring you to hold all your content form your personal computer, on google servers !!! Beware of this new scheme called “clowd computing”, this is an attempt from these bastards to rename and own the internet and make you pay for every mouse click in the future. Is a try to take your freedom for good, with nicely colored apps.

    Have a nice day, Ladies ! And gentleman !….google…go away, you just defaced the web and now you try to steal it for good, you should be named CIAggle or some other crap.

  • http://Google.com Knowledge

    No it isn’t, just keep using big brothers free services and open code and you will soon find out. Curiosity killed the cat, Stupidity killed the freedom.

  • Hedgehog

    These things make sense. I run Linux using XOrg server. I have noticed that the screensaver does not see mouse actions when I browse and stay only in browser window. Screensaver comes on despite activity. This and and a number of issues people are having with some pointing devices suggest that mouse movement is being intercepted. I have removed Chrome. Software that does an end-run around my XOrg server security is considered malware!

  • frederico

    done with google chrome. liked it enough but on os x it is phoning home two or three times a day and it causes my firewall to prompt me every time.

    sorry google, you are bringing me back IE 6 infested with spyware days…

    no bueno google…. this is just not cool etiquette… getting pretty evil…

  • tyler

    Bill Gates started all this crap cause google is the baddest search engine in the world. He wants his competition to break.

  • cosmochicken

    Some of you have valid points. Some of you are apathetic. Some of you are just plain angry-without-aim nutty. Anything offered by Google tracks and stores your information. Maybe not the directly personal but definitely your habits and travel. Google operates under principles of freeconomics. They trade in one of the most valuable commodities this country has to offer today: INFORMATION. Open source is a strategy and vehicle that allows them to collect and then sell data to any number of sources. Let’s all realize the fact as well that anything you put onto the web is no longer your property but rather public domain and is out there forever. Facebook operates under the same structure. Facebook will even tell you in their multiple pages of user agreement text that any pictures or posts you upload to their site become their property and will be stored until they decide to delete it whether you choose to show it on your page or not.

    I use gmail and even use the google phone plug-in to make calls to my family and friends through my account and it is very useful to me. At any time, with one key stroke, I can record conversations that I am having and it will be stored on one of Googles many data banks. For as long as I choose to have it there. If I have that option then so do they.

    Don’t blame the companies for capitalizing on a market demand. Try to educate yourself why the need is there in the first place and what it is being used for.

    Now that being said, from a user stand point I tried the Chrome browser for all of ten minutes before sending it to the trash. I did not notice any appreciable difference in speed between that and Firefox. Not only that, but seven minutes into my session it locked up and then shut down.

  • http://www.aftershockforums.com ASF

    No this is NOT confirmed, this is just implying that it is spyware, which is stupid.
    This shows that Google is contacting it’s server. All browsers contact their server from time-to-time (it’s a fact, really) for various reasons. This page shows that it contact’s “search completion” feature.

    Again, this does NOT mean that people are watching you or somehow accessing Google’s server just to (for some stupid reason) go through mass amounts of data see what you were searching for.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sylvio-Michael-Kuplevatsky/1686351910 Sylvio Michael Kuplevatsky

    I agree with the person who wrote this article, but also see other peoples opinions. Any new/recent news?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sylvio-Michael-Kuplevatsky/1686351910 Sylvio Michael Kuplevatsky

    There has been many proven times that Google Chrome is Spyware, but who is to say? The internet is one tricky place, and we can’t truly know.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sylvio-Michael-Kuplevatsky/1686351910 Sylvio Michael Kuplevatsky

    Chrome is spyware. The browser itself is designed to spy on you and report everything you do and every URL you visit to Google. What more needs to be said. It’s not even a browser so much as a data mining tool with a browser built in.

  • Pawlud

    Gmail, is not private. I have noticed that the adverts I see on gmail, are very much related to the subject of my sent and received emails on gmail ! Someone is following up my mail !!!!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/rizzeh George Kafanov

    solution to all your spyware,trojans and viruses is simple
    http://www.debian.org/

  • http://www.deletespyware-adware.com Karl

    You mean it’s spyware because it sends usage statistics to Google. That’s optional, btw you can turn it off from settings. Also a 60 billion company, world famous won’t do silly things like spyware lol

    • Kd_jm

      Google only created a browser to protect his core business: information. Naturally they register every key you press. Their PR is better towards the open source community, but they are a huge company and thus as evil as MS. They don’t think open source: they try to use and abuse open source as they see fit.