A Chrome-Plated Warning

I like new software, ask and I like Google. Generally speaking, that is.

Has Google gone off its rocker with Chrome? Does Google’s Motto “Do No Evil” not mean the same thing to them as it does to me?

Yesterday I downloaded Google’s new browser, Chrome, and I’m heading back to Firefox. (I won’t pass GO, and I won’t collect $200.) The browser is nice and clean, but it has its problems: (1) for some reason, I can’t add Facebook friends using Chrome. I have to open the page in Firefox to do that. (2) Chrome won’t display the web application we develop at work (AJAX [thus JavaScript] based, which is supposed to be a STRENGTH of Chrome). Oh and (3) Chrome users give Google a license to do WHATEVER THEY WANT with any content that we view or upload using the browser.

By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services.

(I first read about this story here, on Gizmodo.com.)

Let’s consider the implications of that:

  • Any content I submit to my blog using Chrome gives Google a perpetual, irrevocable license to publish, publicly display, or distribute any way they want.
  • And e-mails I sent using Chrome gives Google the same license to share my private information with anybody they want however they want.
  • When I access my banking information, Google has the right to reproduce my balance and transaction information, and publish that information publicly.
  • I help people build websites on the side. Any content I create for my clients and upload or view through Chrome gives Google the right to modify, reproduce, adapt, and publish wherever and however they want.
  • I work for a company that produces Web-based software. If I view our proprietary information with Chrome, Google has the right to harness that information and use it wherever or however they want.
  • If my employer uses Chrome to administer confidential employee data, Google can intercept, store, publish, store, and broadcast that information.
This is “Do No Evil”?
Here is the complete section from the EULA:
11. Content license from you
11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. This license is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services.

11.2 You agree that this license includes a right for Google to make such Content available to other companies, organizations or individuals with whom Google has relationships for the provision of syndicated services, and to use such Content in connection with the provision of those services.

11.3 You understand that Google, in performing the required technical steps to provide the Services to our users, may (a) transmit or distribute your Content over various public networks and in various media; and (b) make such changes to your Content as are necessary to conform and adapt that Content to the technical requirements of connecting networks, devices, services or media. You agree that this license shall permit Google to take these actions.

11.4 You confirm and warrant to Google that you have all the rights, power and authority necessary to grant the above license.

So their license allows them to do it in order to “display, distribute, or promote the Service.” That’s pretty vague, and I imagine it could be argued that a lot of what Google does falls into that category.

Um, thanks, but NO THANKS.

Off to uninstall Chrome until this has been resolved.

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One Response to A Chrome-Plated Warning

  1. stedawa October 3, 2008 at 3:36 pm #

    Hi,

    I likewise gave up quickly on Chrome. Can’t recall the exact reasons. Perhaps it was too lean and minimalist.

    Hadn’t read carefully the user agreement, but now I wish I had.
    Thanks for pointing out Google’s open grab-it-from-ya policy (polossy?).
    What could their intention be? Are they hard up for finding content for a company website, water cooler website, or whatever?

    On the other hand, they *are* trying to share their wealth and be agents of social change: check out http://www.project10tothe100.com/

    Not quite sure how consistent an image this makes of Google.

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