Does Google Chrome really track all of the pages you visit?

Discussion in 'privacy problems' started by DesuMaiden, Jul 26, 2014.

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  1. DesuMaiden

    DesuMaiden Registered Member

    Jan 25, 2013
    Apparently, someone told me that Google Chrome tracks not only which pages you are browsing, but also how long you've been on each page. Google Chrome apparently knows everything you are browsing. Is this true or is this just FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt)?

    Or does this tracking go further than what I just mentioned?
  2. Tyrizian

    Tyrizian Registered Member

    Apr 26, 2012
    For one, Google is everywhere, whether you're in Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc. (Firefox phishing filter for example gets its results from Google)

    A lot of websites have Google Adsense, all across the web, etc.

    To me, you just can't 100% filter yourself from Google, it impossible.

    Now, one can minimize the amount of Google, by using Adblockers and adjusting browser settings.

    This is what I would do when using Google Chrome, to minimize the amount of Google tracking as much as possible

    Turn off = Use a web service to help resolve navigation errors

    Turn off = Use a prediction service to help complete searches and URLs typed in the address bar

    Turn off = Automatically send usage statistics and crash reports to Google

    Turn off = Predict network actions to improve page load performance

    Turn off = Enable Autofill to fill out forms in a single click

    Turn off = Offer to save passwords I enter on the web

    Turn off = Cookies (Can only set per site permissions)

    Turn on = Enable Phishing and malware protection

    Turn on = Check for server certificate revocation (HTTPS/SSL)

    · Set google update services to “Manual” or "Disable"

    · Remove all services, except “Store” from the Apps tab

    · Disable “Chrome Remote Desktop Viewer” “Chrome PDF Viewer” and “Google Update” from “chrome://plugins” – Adobe Flash and Native Client should be the one’s enabled

    · Change search and homepage setting to anything but Google

    · Download extensions that can prevent Advertising / Tracking - Adguard, Adblock Plus, Ghostery, Etc.

    As far as them tracking everything, I really don't know the answer to that, but I do know that Google has a lot of mechanisms into place that are able to keep track of a huge chunk of the web.

    Like I said, You can't 100% filter out Google from the web, but you can minimize the amount that comes in.

    My advice to you would be, tweak the browser, download the appropriate extensions necessary and enjoy the browser just like any other.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2014
  3. gorhill

    gorhill Developer

    Nov 12, 2013
    Google and many others are so ubiquitous that, yes, you will leave an imprint in their logs on a whole lots of sites regardless of the browser. Because of this I don't hold back on drastic blocking:

    I use HTTP Switchboard in allow-all/block-ex mode (low breakage, so the extension is not too annoying by getting too much in the way)

    I blacklist `cookie`, `xhr`, `frame`.

    I blacklist `` (and related), `` (and related), `` (and related), ``, etc. in HTTP Switchboard. I allow them on a per need basis in scopes. There is just no way one can be tracked this way -- that is unless I visit one of their sites.

    Whenever I land on a site, if I see a domain which is ubiquitous in the matrix, I blacklist without a second thought. There is no way around if you want to avoid leaving print in their logs, which usually comes with cookies, referrer, etc.

    After a while, you will have built yourself a nice blacklists which will reduce tracking a lot. That is, if you don't mind "losing" all the little widgets on web pages to "like", "+1", etc. They are really just a mean to track people, in no way essential, and pages will load faster (they usually come with thick scripts).

    Edit: I just stumbled upon ``on a web page. Blacklisted. Page still work. That's the way to destroy tracking.
  4. Malwar

    Malwar Registered Member

    May 5, 2013
    To add to what TyRidian said you can also type about:flags scroll down untill you see ''Disable hyperlink auditing'' it will be grayed out and click ''enable''. Chrome does not send what you type to google when you do what TyRidian and me suggested, to prove it you can use fiddler
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2014
  5. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

    Jul 9, 2008
    FYI. Many Web sites join Google Analytics to track visitors as they navigate a site.
  6. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

    Oct 26, 2011
    I like to use a fresh TBB every session. Takes like 10 seconds to copy a new one from template. Start each session clean. IP's are always changing and it seems to me this is a good way to dodge identifiable tracking. Of course I am talking about for surfing anonymous things and not banking or true personal email.
  7. LockBox

    LockBox Registered Member

    Nov 20, 2004
    Here, There and Everywhere
    I know a guy who actually uses a Chromebook with the default Chrome OS and still manages to stay away from Google for most of the time. Many people don't realize it's just like the browser, you can use it to access anything on the internet. You don't have to use any Google products whatsoever. In fact, this particular person uses an unlimited L2TP/IPSec VPN with his Chromebook about half the time, so even if they wanted to, they would only know of his connection to the VPN.

    At the beginning of the Chromebook story, they were very intrusive as far as sending information back to Google. That evolved as it became more mainstream and now that they've invaded the educational and business marketplace (in the United States anyway) things are very different the last couple of years. By necessity. The Chromebook sales have exploded in 2014. No, it wouldn't be my first choice for a laptop, but this guy I know has his set-up in such a way that Google is pretty much out of the loop as far as anything more than the usual stuff you'd get from any browser. And much of that is blocked as they finally bowed to pressure and allowed the Ghostery and Disconnect extensions in the Chrome Store, and then finally, Abine's DoNotTrackMe.

    Edit to add: I read this last week and found it again -
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