'Google Chrome steals your privacy.'
That was the title (and intended message) of a video posted by Microsoft comparing its browser, Internet Explorer 8, to Google's Chrome.
The video, which was posted to TechNet Edge, but seems to have since been removed, describes itself as a 'demo on how Google Chrome collects every keystroke you make and how Internet Explorer 8 keeps your information private through two address bars and In Private browsing.'
Microsoft's Pete LePage contrasts typing a search query into Chrome and IE8, arguing that IE8's separate boxes for the address bar and search box help ensure that 'the addresses of the sites you're visiting aren't automatically shared with Microsoft, or anyone else:'
As I start to type an address into the address bar... for nearly every character I type, Chrome sends a request back to Google. I haven't even hit enter yet to load the website and Google is already getting information about the domain and sites I'm visiting.
LePage also knocks Google Chrome by highlighting IE8's InPrivate browsing option, which allows users to surf the web without leaving a trace. However, he fails to note a similar option, called Incognito, offered by Chrome.
Ars Technica takes some issue with Microsoft's allegations:
Even though he didn't really elaborate, the reason for the striking difference for IE8's and Chrome's behaviors is really that simple: IE8 has two boxes and Chrome has one. LePage makes an important mistake in his accusation against Google: his statement should not be "Chrome sends a request back to Google" but it should be "Chrome sends a request back to the search provider." He makes this distinction with IE8 but does not with Chrome. The information is being sent so that the search provider can help the user choose a query right in their browser.
Despite potential loopholes in Microsoft's argument, the allegation that Google is 'stealing' users' privacy could strike a chord: Google's Buzz platform was criticized as a 'privacy nightmare,' and one FTC member recently ripped Google's privacy efforts.
Which browser would you prefer to use?