Amazingly enough, it took less than 24 hours to see the first massive privacy issues flaring up with Google Chrome. In a CNET interview, Peter Eckersley of the EFF says:
“We’re worried that Chrome will be another giant conveyer belt moving private information about our use of the Web into Google’s data vaults,” Eckersley said. “Google already knows far too much about what everybody is thinking at any given moment.
Now this is a total surprise, is it not? Not only can Google read all your mail, knows what you are looking for on the web, and has your financial information through Googlc Checkout or Adsense. With the Omnibox (or the mysterious “one or more unique application numbers“), they now also see all the places you go to — on the internet and any possible intranets.
Now, I do not know exactly how this will play out legally, but as far as I am concerned, the internal structure of an Intranet is usally some I’d rather not expose to outsiders. Beyond privacy concerns, there are clear security and intrusion concerns, and allowing Google to obtain this data for free and without any binding contract between Google and my company does not seem very prudent. If I had any say, I would strangle recommend to prohibit the use of Chrome in any enterprise environment. This should obviously extend to government agencies, and among them law enforcement and military. How embarrassing would it be, if–by honest mistake–the DNS or CA infrastructure of the combat command and control systems of say, the Airforce or the CIA would suddenly appear on a Google search result.
Do not get me wrong: I do like Open Source, and adding competition to the market is always a good thing. I simply see the ugly face of monopoly lurking around the corner, and this time it also has a big file on any internet user. This is a little too much power in the hands of a single entity. If Google was part of a government, people would be a lot less eager to submit their most private data (with the exception of Germany, of course–there it works the other way round).