Google to Drop Unique IDs from their Chrome Browser

Ryan Whitwam

Ever since its release, Google has tagged Chrome installs with a unique ID. The search giant is now reportedly abandoning that practice . Future versions of the browser will still install with a unique ID that will be used to check for the first automatic update. After that task is complete, the ID will be deleted.

It has always been Google’s position that the client ID was only used to determine when users update, and in the event of a crash (but only if crash reporting is turned on). Some privacy advocates have long held that the unique identifier could lessen browser privacy. However, no one has ever been able to show that to be the case.

As Chrome continues to gain market share, Google appears to be tweaking it to keep it palatable to users. There is a certain amount of Google fatigue out there, and if privacy concerns become too pervasive, Google could lose public trust.  Even though there was no confirmed privacy breach caused by this feature, does its removal make you feel more comfortable using Chrome?

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