With users growing increasingly concerned about protecting their privacy online (opens in new tab), Google has added a setting to Chrome that allow users to clear cookies and site data when they exit the browser.
However, one programmer has recently discovered that while this setting wipes personal data from other sites, it doesn't do so for Google's own sites and services.
Jeff Johnson provided further details on his discovery in a new blog post (opens in new tab) that shows how the browser clears cookies and site data for other sites but not for Google Search or YouTube.
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While Chrome did delete the cookies left in Johnson's browser after quitting and relaunching YouTube, other site data including the database storage, local storage and service workers were still stored on his system. Johnson then repeated his tests using Google Search which sets some cookies and local storage. He found that after quitting Chrome and relaunching Google Search that the cookies it created had been deleted but the local storage was still there.
Clear cookies and site data error
For users concerned about being tracked by Chrome by the browser failing to wipe site data from YouTube and Google Search, thankfully there is a workaround.
Still though, the fact that cookies and site data are cleared from third-party sites and not Google's own services is a bit perplexing which led Johnson to wonder whether this is just a bug as opposed to an intentional behavior.
In its report on the matter, The Register (opens in new tab) shared Johnson's concerns which is why the news outlet reached out to Google and a company spokesperson provided the following statement on the issue, which reads:
"We are aware of a bug in Chrome that is impacting how cookies are cleared on some first-party Google websites. We are investigating the issue, and plan to roll out a fix in the coming days."
If you can't wait for Google's upcoming fix, you can always use Johnson's workaround to prevent Google Search and YouTube from saving site data.
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Via The Register (opens in new tab)