Growing discomfort with Google and Chrome

For the past several years I’ve primarily used Google’s Chrome browser at work (where I have a Windows computer, at home on my Mac I typically use Safari), but a few months ago I switched back to Firefox. There wasn’t a particular inciting incident, just a general feeling that I don’t trust Google as much as I used to, combined with a feeling that Chrome was starting to become the new Internet Explorer; a browser that was becoming a bit too dominant, leading to potential stagnation some time down the line. It also helped that Firefox has made som pretty big improvements in the last year or so, making that switch much easier.

Today, I came across this post by Mathew Green and it helps reinforce my decision. Like the author I typically avoided signing into Chrome too, seeing little point to it other than to give Google more information about me, more easily. This change is odd and just makes me feel even less comfortable with Google than I already did.

I already do most of my searching with DuckDuckGo, rather than Google, and have for some time so I guess the next step would be moving my email out of gmail. But that’s going to be a pretty big task, so it may be a while on that front. I’ve been using my gmail addresses for 14 or 15 years now, almost from the start of gmail, so there’s a lot of inertia to overcome (and of course a lot of people to update on my new email address!), and I need to figure out a provider I trust and that’s easy enough to use (if you’ve got any suggestions I’d be happy to hear them!). But I suppose that’s the next logical step in extricating myself a bit more from Google’s tracking and controlling my own web presence and data just a bit more.

Stephen B @DrOct