Since it is not yet checked by the majority of the developers, is there a chance that a Google Canary can steal the user's data or create a virus from this?
closed as not constructive by Keltari, Randolph West, 8088, Nifle, slhck♦ Sep 10 '12 at 7:21
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More or less, but it depends on your specific circumstances and needs. The Canary releases are periodic milestones that have been built from code that has not been fully tested—though technically, even stable builds are not fully tested otherwise there would be no bugs to fix. (You can see the intermediate builds in the Chromium tree where there are builds done frequently, but canary builds are only done at certain points.)
Chrome is just a web-browser, so the damage it can do if it is buggy is limited. Sure there’s an infinitesimal chance that it could have a bug that could cause it to wreck the whole system, but more than likely, any bugs it has will probably just cause it to crash which means the most it will usually do is to cause you to lose any data in web-apps or lose a half-downloaded file.
In short, no. Chrome is the official Google version of Chromium and while it is not open-source, it is highly unlikely that Google is suddenly going to insert a virus or data-stealing code in there. It would be highly unlikely that it would go unnoticed and once discovered it would be devastatingly detrimental to the company. They are not going to risk ruining a multi-billion dollar company for what, some credit-card information? bank passwords? nude-photos? formatting people’s hard-drives? And even if they did, don’t you think they would just end up going to prison?
No version of Chrome is going to purposely contain officially sanctioned malware and it is highly unlikely that a rogue programmer will slip some in since there are quite a few developers on the team and sneaking code into the RCS would be fairly difficult (at least for anyone likely to do so, assuming that such a person would even still be working at Google by the time they are disgruntled, if at all).
It indeed is safe because it contains all the security fixes that a stable version contains plus a few more in some case. About stealing data, I'm not sure.
But, I would recommend against everyday use because it may crash quite often as compared to a stable build. If you really want a sneak-peak at some of experimental stuff, you can type in
For a certain value of safe.
It wouldn't electrocute you, kill your dog, or push your grandmother down the stairs.
You will, however be the first person to face any unintentional bugs that google includes in it - my experience with it includes lots of crashes (turning off sync usually fixed those.).
As for code safety - Its still a google vetted, pre-release of what will eventually be the dev and regular channels of canary. If nothing major malfs up, it will be pushed onto being the regular builds with no changes. As far as intentional malfeasance goes its unlikely that google would allow it.
Its no more dangerous than running firefox nightlies or other pre-release software from a reputable source.