Friday, October 16, 2020 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Chrome Exempts Google Sites From User Site Data Settings

Jeff Johnson:

In Google Chrome’s “Cookies and site data” settings, accessible via the Preferences menu item or directly with chrome://settings/cookies in the address bar, you can enable the setting “Clear cookies and site data when you quit Chrome”. However, I’ve discovered that Chrome exempts Google’s own sites, such as Search and YouTube, from this setting.

[…]

Some people are going to read this article and say “Use Safari instead of Chrome!” But it’s important to note that Safari doesn’t even have the feature to clear site data on quit, so Safari is actually worse.

Update (2020-10-20): See also: Hacker News.

Update (2020-10-22): Jeff Johnson:

Someone on Hacker News indicated that this Chromium commit yesterday is the fix for my bug.

If so, the bug was introduced into Chromium 5 months ago and apparently shipped in Chrome 85 about 2 months ago.

Jeff Johnson:

So, it seems that Google actually shipped a partial fix today.

In my testing it’s fixed in Chrome 86.0.4240.111 for youtube.com but still broken for google.com

12 Comments

Well, what do you prefer? A browser that cannot clear cookies at exit or a browser you cannot trust. I mean, if Chrome is exempting Google sites from this are you really sure they do not do other sneaky things behind your back?

Do you still think Safari is worse? I chose 'lacks some features' over 'cannot be trusted'.

Am I misunderstanding? Can't you use New Private Window ? I thought that deleted cookies and data upon closing the window (not even needing to quit).

@ruurd Safari is sneaky in other ways.

> But it’s important to note that Safari doesn’t even have the feature to clear site data on quit, so Safari is actually worse.

That's missing the whole Safari point. It doesn't have to clear data, as it has strong measures to don't leaks data across sites.

The quote about Safari was taken out of context. It was literally a parenthetical remark at the very end of the article:

(Some people are going to read this article and say "Use Safari instead of Chrome!" But it's important to note that Safari doesn't even have the feature to clear site data on quit, so Safari is actually worse. In this respect, Safari is years behind. Firefox and all of the Chromium-based browsers already have the clear site data on quit feature.)

The article points out a flaw in a certain Chrome feature. My point is that the article is not a reason to use Safari instead of Chrome, because Safari lacks that feature entirely. There may be plenty of other reasons to use Safari instead of Chrome, but my article is not one of those reasons. In fact, the main reason I mentioned Safari was to prod Apple into adding this feature to Safari. Clear site data on quit is a good feature, and I'd like to see Safari join Chrome and Firefox in adopting it.

@Jean-Daniel Leaking data across sites is not the only reason to clear site data.

Apparently no one here uses FIrefox. WHy is that?

Apparently no one here uses FIrefox. WHy is that?

I think the key reason I personally don’t use it much is its hostility to the Mac. Integrating with macOS features like Keychain, Services, etc. either took years or never happened at all. It has a hamburger menu (which apparently can’t be removed) in addition to the menu bar. Its Preferences window is a weird web page. Some UI controls don’t look or behave quite right (for example, the drop-down menus have the wrong font size and wrong selection color).

It does have some interesting tech like containers, but Mozilla doesn’t quite seem to know what to do with them. (I also wish they had kept Live Bookmarks around. That was an interesting take on feeds!)

I use Firefox as my main browser, have been for the past several years. Bookmark sync and sending tabs across devices are fast and reliable. I use an add-on for vertical tabs in the sidebar... I hadn’t used vertical tabs since OmniWeb and am reminded of how nice it is to have that option.

I’m trying out Android in an emulator, and it’s nice to have access to a version of Firefox that supports add-ons. (Also, it’s nice in general to have a mobile browser that supports add-ons)

Vivaldi (Chromium-based) is a nice option too, as it carries forward a lot of the ‘batteries included’ ethos that Opera offered years ago. Built-in vertical tab option, full featured sidebar with integrated note taking, tab tiling, lots of visual and UI customization options. I can’t for the life of me figure out how to send tabs from mobile to desktop though, so I haven’t switched yet.

I'd rather have the option to manually delete the data than be misled by a feature that pretends to do so automatically.

@Allan: Have you *used* Firefox on the Mac? :-)

@Ted: Have you? It works just fine now.

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