Monday, 19 October 2020 11:17

Chrome gives Google sites special treatment in user data settings: claim Featured

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Chrome gives Google sites special treatment in user data settings: claim Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

An independent app developer has found that deleting cookies from the Chrome browser does not get rid of cookies from Google's own sites such as Search and YouTube.

Jeff Johnson said in a blog post that he had used the cookies and site data settings from Chrome's Preferences menu and also tried the direct way, using the chrome://settings/cookies in the address bar.

Using either of these routes, it was possible to enable the setting, ""Clear cookies and site data when you quit Chrome".

But he found that after a visit to YouTube, the database storage, local storage, and service workers were still there after shutting down Chrome and starting it again.

Experimenting with Apple, he found that all cookies disappeared when he shut down Chrome and restarted.

Johnson, who has a decade of experience as a professional Mac and iOS software engineer, said he had to add a setting to "Sites that can never use cookies" in order to ensure that all the YouTube cookies were deleted when Chrome was shut down and then started.

With Google search, he had a similar experience. While the cookies disappeared after restarting Chrome, the local storage still remained.

"Again, to prevent this from happening, you have to add google.com to 'Sites that can never use cookies'," he wrote.

"Perhaps this is just a Google Chrome bug, not intentional behaviour, but the question is why it only affects Google sites, not non-Google sites. I've tested using the latest Google Chrome version 86.0.4240.75 for macOS, but this behaviour was also happening in the previous version of Chrome. I don't know when it started.

"Some people are going to read this article and say 'Use Safari instead of Chrome!' But it's important to note that Safari doesn't even have the feature to clear site data on quit, so Safari is actually worse. In this respect, Safari is years behind. Firefox and all of the Chromium-based browsers already have the clear site data on quit feature."

iTWire contacted Google for comment on this, but the company has not yet responded.


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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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