I recently commented on Google’s intentions to implement two important measures to combat rampant user tracking by third parties – and thereby put a kibosh to user fingerprinting and planting browser cookies that can stay in perpetuity.
Alas, they’ve done a very fine job making us all feel good and even believing a tech giant is now becoming our noble friend. Except that you’re left wondering if they’ve still reserved the right to track you, as a user of their Chrome browser. After all, Google’s core business is selling ads.
As I wrote earlier:
… it’s worth noting that Google hasn’t stated anything about limiting the ability to use their own cookies or any of their proprietary user tracking data.
There’s recently been a controversial flareup around something called “X-Client Data.” It’s proprietary to Google and is said to be a means to enable tracking Chrome users, at least theoretically – while bypassing their privacy measures imposed on third-party ad networks.
For their part, Google has denied this as their intention. They’ve stated that the data collected is for purposes unrelated to user tracking or selling ads. Instead, the data is claimed to be for generating analytics with the goal of helping Google improve Chrome.
Concerned users can make a few tweaks in their Chrome browser to avoid the possibility of being tracked through X-Client Data.
But there is, of course, a simpler alternative: use a different browser.