Using Google Chrome Sync Feature and What Google Knows About You

Perm url with updates: http://xahlee.org/js/google_chrome_sync_privacy.html

Using Google Chrome Sync Feature and What Google Knows About You

Xah Lee, 2011-06-22

A nice feature of Google Chrome. It has a sync feature. If you work in multiple computers (e.g. at work, home, laptop), you can use sync so that all your {bookmark, preferences, extensions (aka add-ons)} will be available without you having to find and install each of them.

As of today, the following items can be synced:

  • bookmark
  • autofill
  • passwords
  • preferences
  • apps
  • extensions
  • themes

You can also choose which to not be synced.

Turning On Sync Feature

To turn it on, click on the wrench icon on upper right then “Options▸Personal Stuff▸Sync”.

Google Chrome sync screen

Google Chrome sync screen

Suppose you turned on sync at work. Then, at home, just turn on sync and your Google Chrome will have the same setup as at work.

For each item you put a checkmark, it means Google will have that info on their server.

View Your Private Data Stored by Google

You can view all the data Google has about you. Go to google.com, login, then upper right click on your name, then “Account Settings”. Or, just click this: https://www.google.com/accounts/ManageAccount.

Then, click “Dashboard, View data stored with this account”. Here's a screenshot:

google account dashboard screen

Google Account Dashboard screen

Note: even if you don't have any Google account, Google probably knows a ton about you. If you use Facebook, it's much worse. See: Facebook's Ethics.

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