One of the companies I work for recently informed me that browsing the Intranet using Chrome is not accepted (nor supported) because it "collects data", therefore making it insecure. However, they still allow connections from all versions of Internet Explorer, even the security-hole-ridden and long-since-abandoned-by-MS IE6. Neither of these decisions makes any sense to me.

Is the IT guy making a valid argument? Should I stop using Chrome on the company's Intranet? Is Chrome collecting potentially dangerous information from our Intranet?

Funnily enough, at the other company I work at, all versions of IE are blocked. If Chrome really were a security risk, wouldn't blocking it be the best solution?

NOTE: I'm not looking for ammunition to fight over this issue, I've long since accepted this policy as just the way it is and things aren't likely to change, not even if Bill Gates were to walk into the president's office and say, "you should use Chrome instead of IE because..." (or any number of creative scenarios one could conjure up) they still wouldn't change their policy.

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    Thanks Moab. Next time try reading the entire question before making assumptions on what I'm trying to accomplish. I specifically state that I'm not trying to fight with IT over this. – glenneroo Jan 28 '11 at 11:31

Google disclaims a policy in the Chrome documentation. It essentially says Chrome doesn't gather any data besides what typing into the search field at google.com would provide Google with. While this does constitute a privacy risk, unless your IT blocks all access to Google, the argument doesn't hold water. (And is likely based on jumping to conclusions from skimming sensationalist headlines.)

Chrome and Chromium also collect additional data, the extent of which is mentioned in a blog post by the developers.

That said, I haven't tried watching Chrome with wireshark to verify what is actually sent to Google servers, so trust the above as much as you trust Google to keep their word to begin with.


It is possible IT does not want to support your browser. I am a sysadmin and I tell my outside sales to always use IE because it is easier to troubleshoot issues when everyone is on the same browser. We use a ssl vpn called netilla that has to connect through a browser. Plus from an IT standpoint you want to keep everything as standard as possible: same browsers, OS, versions, PC's ETC. It is a real pain to keep up with what each user decides they want to use on any given day. It looks like google does collect some anonymous details like sites visited and for how long but it seems like it is very mundane stuff that you would expect Google to collect anyway. Here is an article about what google collects in general (it includes chrome) and what they generally do with this information. Even if they did get data off your intranet unless you are a direct competitor what is the worst they could do with that data? Not to mention I'm sure there are users in your company that have some form of malware on their PC attempting to collect data for malicious reasons.

  • That and sysadmin who's always honest about the reasoning behind their decisions makes their job a living hell. – Tobias Plutat Jan 27 '11 at 15:44
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    LOL @Tobias I guess that's true, its hard to explain your doing things because it is "best practice". – Supercereal Jan 27 '11 at 15:51
  • Or "need to know basis". "BUT I NEED TO KNOW!" – Tobias Plutat Jan 27 '11 at 16:00
  • Why the downvote? – Supercereal Jan 27 '11 at 16:16

If you log into Gmail through any browser - and stay logged in, and then continue to browse in other windows in the same browser - Google can track your browsing - but if you log out Google can't track you. As well if you have an Android phone and you use the native browser that comes with the phone and you have a Gmail account with that phone I'm certain it's the same - Google will track your browsing with that phone (that's why Google is making Android free to all the phone manufacturers).

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    Have you verified this with a packet sniffer? And what about cookies? – glenneroo Mar 18 '13 at 20:35

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