In an effort to promote Microsoft’s new Internet Explorer 8 browser, the company has been attacking rival Google’s Chrome browser for its alleged neglect of user privacy.
The claims, leveled by IE project manager Peter LePage, sound ominous:
“As I start to type an address into the address bar… for nearly every character I type, Chrome sends a request back to Google. I haven’t even hit enter yet to load the website and Google is already getting information about the domain and sites I’m visiting.”
But Ars Technica correctly points out that it would be more accurate to say that the request gets sent back to your search provider, be it Google or Bing or others. Moreover, IE8 does the exact same thing when you type into the search bar.
LePage also mentions how IE8 has an “InPrivate” mode, which allows for private browsing. Which is great! So does Chrome. They just call it “Incognito.”
Are there important questions about Google and privacy that need to be answered? Absolutely. But Microsoft’s attack seems pretty frivolous, on the face of it. And it seems they may have realized that, too; the TechNet Edge page where they originally posted it appears to have been taken down.