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Chrome Caught Exempting Google Sites From User Requests To Delete Data

This week the Verge reported:

If you ask Chrome to delete all cookies and site data whenever you quit the browser, it’s reasonable to expect that this policy applies to all websites. Recently, though, a bug in the browser meant data wasn’t being removed for two sites in particular: Google and YouTube.

This problem was first documented by iOS developer Jeff Johnson on his blog. Johnson found that in Chrome version 86.0.4240.75, “local storage” data for Google.com and YouTube.com stuck around even after restarting the browser. We’ve been able to replicate similar behavior… The Register notes that Chrome’s behavior could allow Google to stash cookie-style data as site data, allowing it to track users even when they think they’re being careful by deleting their cookie and site data every time they close the browser.

In a statement, Google said it was aware of the issue and was working on a fix… At least one of the affected sites, YouTube, appears to have already been fixed. After we upgraded the Chrome browser to version 86.0.4240.111, YouTube’s local storage data seems to successfully purge after a restart, although the data from Google.com still sticks around.

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