Almost Secure Blog: Chrome Sync privacy is still very bad


Level 76
Thread author
Honorary Member
Top Poster
Content Creator
Apr 24, 2016
Five years ago I wrote an article about the shortcomings of Chrome Sync (as well as a minor issue with Firefox Sync). Now Chrome Sync has seen many improvements since then. So time seems right for me to revisit it and to see whether it respects your privacy now.

Spoiler: No, it doesn’t. It improved, but that’s an improvement from outright horrible to merely very bad. The good news: today you can use Chrome Sync in a way that preserves your privacy. Google however isn’t interested in helping you figure out how to do it.




Level 47
Top Poster
Mar 16, 2019
Privacy and convenience are usually not interchangeable especially in the case of Google since they give out so many quality products and services for free in exchange of your data. But it's good to know that there's at least one option in the case of sync for users who prefer a more private option.
Personally, I'm more on the side of convenience as online privacy is extremely hard to achieve. It's so much extra hard work with very little reward IMO. But it's always important to put some pressure on someone like Google. The more you press the more privacy preserving options they will provide even if not enabled by default. Something is better than nothing.
Regarding sync, Chrome's sync is the most stable & problem free unlike Edge's and in some cases Firefox's sync has some hiccups and is not as complete as Chrome.

Sandbox Breaker

Level 9
Jan 6, 2022
When this came out I immediately used it. Chromebook backups are in cloud with my own key. All I need to do is sign into new Chromebook with my U2F key then enter the passphrase upon signing in for sync. Everything restores. Settings, wallpaper, bookmarks, passwords. Everything! It's a great feature of you want Google security and lower privacy and security risk.

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