This past week I have been talking a lot about browsers. I haven't nearly covered everything I wanted to, especially as relates to local development, but today I came across a somewhat disturbing article regarding Chrome. It's entitled Review: Google Chrome has become surveillance software. It’s time to switch., written by Geoffrey A. Fowler, Washington Post columnist.
These days, you are damned if you do, and damned if you don't. Sure, Firefox has all these great things they are putting in place, but they are also the target of hackers! So which one is better, being attacked and compromised by hackers, or under surveillance by Uncle Sam?
I had heard some while back that Google was in league in some way with the Government/Military, but this is ridiculous! But not surprising. Especially regarding cookie tracking. Cookies for ads ads ads that result in the feeling of a real lack of "privacy". That business paradigm really has to change, but to what? It appears that Americans are the most apathetic on the subject! In my humble opinion, it's the "lazy man's way of making money".
Fowler opens the article with
You open your browser to look at the web. Do you know who is looking back at you?
He goes on to say,
Over a recent week of web surfing, I peered under the hood of Google Chrome and found it brought along a few thousand friends. Shopping, news and even government sites quietly tagged my browser to let ad and data companies ride shotgun while I clicked around the web.
This was made possible by the web’s biggest snoop of all: Google. Seen from the inside, its Chrome browser looks a lot like surveillance software.
Lately I’ve been investigating the secret life of my data, running experiments to see what technology really is up to under the cover of privacy policies that nobody reads. It turns out, having the world’s biggest advertising company make the most-popular web browser was about as smart as letting kids run a candy shop. It made me decide to ditch Chrome for a new version of nonprofit Mozilla’s Firefox, which has default privacy protections. Switching involved less inconvenience than you might imagine.
I won't rehash the article here. I suggest that you read it for yourself. But considering that GDPR is here to say, the information shared here is shocking, but not shocking. Now I have an even better idea of why Google is constantly having antitrust issues, is so hated by the Europeans, and why GDPR was created to begin with. As much as I love many things that Google provides, at the same time I am nauseated every time I read about their various "activities". After reading the article, I decided to switch over to Firefox for the time being. I did make sure to import all my Chrome Bookmarks of course! And then maybe I will switch over again to Safari.
I will be embedding this episode of Plugging in The Holes along with a transcript in the form of a post on interglobalmedianetwork.com for your hearing and reading pleasure.
Update: There were no more articles about Firefox today, and I used anchor.fm on Firefox to record this podcast episode. Bye for now!