Google Chrome: why you almost shouldn’t use it

No one really bothers reading a product’s EULA until it’s too late, and that includes me. A good thing that Wil Wheaton gave a head’s up on a particular term of service on Google Chrome, which read as follows:

11. Content licence from you

11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights that you already hold in Content that 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 licence to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content that you submit, post or display on or through the Services. This licence 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.

Matt Cutts has clarified this with their legal team, and pretty recently retracted the few lines I have bolded out, citing that those lines were taken from their standard TOS. Wait, really?! I should be checking the TOS at Google Docs and GMail in that case!

Here’s another good related post I found highlighted at WWdN: In Exile.

Beware the Google God.

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Posted on 6 September, 2008 under Life in reality, Web traversing and tagged with ,


  1. Gregf Weight says:

    Yup, this is bad invasion on our privacy

  2. iPod Fan says:

    Very scarey. How could they overlook something like that

  3. I was recently made aware of this and decided to check it out. I very quickly found this from Google:

    Many blogs and websites contain the “legal concern” of Google’s TOS. Yet very few disclose that in the above link, Goggle addressed those concerns.

    Do I agree with you or google…? Doesn’t matter. The question is, will blog readers be given the opportunity to make up their own minds after hearing both sides of the issue?

    1. Lorna says:

      Thanks for the link, Michael.

      If Google does mean what it meant by not wanting to own our content, why not just remove that particular statement altogether like what it did recently with Chrome? Or just cut and paste the exact same statement as what they’ve said in the Help Center?

      Those “legal statements” that they insist on using in this instance is giving too much leeway to other interpretations, including in its literal sense. We would expect Google to do something better and dignified than going with this standard statement.

  4. disney says:

    Is Google going to be the Microsoft equivalent of an online content provider or whatever?

  5. Google Chrome is a browser that could be avoided if these concerns are too great. There is no need to take a risk when there are other browsers that would serve the needs. Firefox has built up a reputation of reliability and security over time.

  6. Jeremy says:

    I was the first person I know to use Chrome, but after 3 days or so I read a post on a forum I frequent mentioning the same thing you brought up here and immediately uninstalled it.

    I realize the breadth of the EULA is likely to cover Google’s ass more than anything else, but the fact that they would put that in there is simply astounding.

    As amazing as google is, they are equally scary if not moreso, it makes me question my Gmail account.


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