Tuesday, June 23, 2015
So Google Chrome can monitor your microphone?
There's yet another security 'scare' about how Google Chrome can use a computer's microphone and webcam to monitor users. This is nothing new. Tech analysts have spoken and written about similar stuff for several years - for example, see this Forbes article from January last year. The latest fuss and bother appears to describe a couple of new features, new ways that Chrome can do this, but the basic capability has been there all along.
That's the problem with trusting any company to use your computer hardware and software responsibly. If Facebook asks you to scan your ID documents (drivers license, etc.) and upload them to 'verify' your account, are you going to be dumb enough to do so? That's none of their business - so why would they want that information if not to exploit it, and you? Do you think they're doing it because they have your best interests at heart? Like hell they are!
If you want all the bells and whistles Google builds into Chrome, Google Docs, Gmail or any of their other products, you have to sacrifice at least some privacy to get them. That's just the way it is. In some cases, we accept the balance between convenience and privacy. In others, we don't. Everyone's boundaries will differ (I, for example, won't use Facebook at all).
Therefore, the simplest and easiest answer to Google Chrome's potential or actual breach of your privacy is very simple. Don't download it, don't install it, and don't use it. Problem solved.