Feeds

Touchy Google wraps protective arm around Chrome EULA

Rejects Slashdotter's musings as 'FUD'

The essential guide to IT transformation

Google has clarified Chrome’s universal licensing terms after a user argued that the firm could limit an individual’s web browsing based on the content he or she viewed.

The web giant’s head flack Gabriel Stricker hit back in a corporate blog post yesterday after Slashdot published an anonymous reader’s musings about Chrome’s EULA (end user licence agreement).

The reader questioned section 7.3 of Chrome’s licence, which states that “Google reserves the right (but shall have no obligation) to pre-screen, review, flag, filter, modify, reuse or remove any or all content from our service”.

Chrome’s EULA also states in the same section that Google provides tools to “filter out explicit sexual content. In addition, there are commercially available services and software to limit access to material that you may find objectionable.”

All of which led the Slashdotter to ask: “Does this mean that Google reserves the right to filter my web browsing experience in Chrome (without my consent to boot)?”

The reader also pondered if the internet search giant had simply carried over EULAs of its other services such as Gmail and Blogger.

“One would think that after the previous EULA affair with Chrome, Google would try to sound a little less draconian.”

However, Stricker hit back at those claims. He pointed to comments left by others in the Slashdot post who said that Google had simply applied its bog-standard Terms of Service (TOS) to Chrome.

“This is the exact same language we use in many other Google TOS,” said Stricker. “We are trying to be consistent across all of our products and services, hence the uniformity.”

Others added that Google provided its Safe Browsing mode in Chrome, while another alert Slashdotter pointed out the blindingly obvious:

“In any case, it's open source (under the name Chromium [google.com]), so if you don't like Google's EULA, or any other part of their plans for Chrome, you will be able to download and run one of the third-party, de-Googlised builds of Chromium, or even build your own. It seems unlikely that Google would impose particularly unpalatable terms on Chrome, given that it comes with its own competition built in.”

Indeed. All of which makes us wonder why Google felt the need to respond to the Slashdot piece in the first place.

Perhaps Mountain View is simply being a little over-sensitive about its TOS these days, following the kerfuffle kicked up by users last September when they spotted a less-than-pretty section in the small print.

Chrome's original EULA had claimed ownership of anything a user created within its browser. Google swiftly amended the terms following a barrage of criticism. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
China hopes home-grown OS will oust Microsoft
Doesn't much like Apple or Google, either
Sin COS to tan Windows? Chinese operating system to debut in autumn – report
Development alliance working on desktop, mobe software
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?