Being a fan of open source systems and of course, of the great and mighty Google, I would certainly use everything that Google offers for free – search engines, toolbars, website contents, gadgets, adsense, feed managers, and lately, its new web browser Chrome.
However, a CNET article the other day made me think twice about just installing anything and not reading through the End Users License Agreement or EULA. I must admit, I rarely read the EULA when installing softwares on my PC. How many people are actually reading the EULA’s of softwares they were installing? Most people just click on the I Accept the End User Agreement tickbox or button and voila, install the software as recommended. I rarely choose the CUSTOM Install option as well as it might complicate my life even more.
The new Chrome browser from Google had this in its EULA:
“The software which you use may automatically download and install updates from time to time from Google. These updates are designed to improve, enhance and further develop the services and may take the form of bug fixes, enhanced functions, new software modules and completely new versions. You agree to receive such updates (and permit Google to deliver these to you) as part of your use of the services.”
Problem with this? Well since I trust Google so much I find it a great extra service that they fix and improve my browsing experience without me even looking the fixes and updates myself. So this one is okay. But how about those other softwares you installed? Could you trust its Developers to give you software updates without thinking about stuffs like malware, spyware and other programs and add-on that are designed to compromise data, privacy and security?
Another Google Chrome EULA details on Section 11:
“By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any content which you submit, post or display on or through, the services. This license 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.”
This seemed to indicate that Google will forever use whatever data or information you entered into the Chrome browser. A browser is supposed to be a medium to access information on the web – and by doing so, one may use it to enter information and data to make the whole thing works. By agreeing to give Google the perpetual right to use any information you entered into the browser, would this mean giving up your privacy when you enter personal information, passwords, credit card and bank account numbers and other vital personal information?
Luckily, to avoid much fanfare about it, Google made some updates to this particular EULA entry. After just a few days, Google changed Section 11 to be just:
“11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services.”
Well, that’s more like it. Now we can enjoy downloading and using Google Chrome – but wait, many are saying the browser is still buggy and slow at times. There’s one thing to find out, try it out myself.
Firefox has just lost Google as an ally. But I might stick with Firefox for a longer time – even with Google Chrome around. Even if I am a fan, Google has to win fans like me to switch to Google Chrome.