Feel paranoid that Google Chrome is spying on you? Apply UnChrome!

September 14th, 2008

I’ve seen the following attributed to Woody Allen:

    Question: what’s a three syllable word beginning with ‘P’ that means you think that everybody’s against you?
    Answer: perceptive.

unchromeIt’s fashionable in some circles to be paranoid about Google. If they ever do abandon their Don’t be evil informal motto then we are all in trouble. Search engines can gather a lot of information about a person’s interests. While Google is not the only search engine available, they have assembled quite an array of Web systems, including gmail, Google reader, Google groups, DoubleClick, Feedburner and many more. They would be in a good position to integrate a lot of information about a person’s behavior on the Web.

Enter Google Chrome.

If you own the browser, you can get the full range of a person’s Web activities. What worries some is that each Google Chrome installation contains a unique ID, which could be used to identify its user. The German company Abelssoft has released UnChrome as an application that effectively makes your copy of Google Chrome anonymous.

“Regarding to Google, “Google Chrome is a browser that combines a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer, and easier”. Unfortunately, each Google Chrome installation contains a unique ID that allowing identifying its user. Google doesn’t make it an easy job to remove this ID.

UnChrome helps you with this task. It replaces your unique ID with Null values so that your browser cannot be identified any longer. The functionality of Google Chrome is not influenced by this. You only need to apply UnChrome once.”

I think this is paranoia rather than being perceptive, but just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you.