Tech giant Google reportedly keeps user data from YouTube and Google.com even after users of its Google Chrome web browser request that the browser purge all website cookies and site data. The Internet giant claims it isn’t another flex of its monopoly power, but rather, a “bug in Chrome.”
Toms Guide reports that even after users set Google Chrome to purge all website cookies and data when they close the browser, Google still maintains a record of user data from YouTube and Google.com. Mac programmer Jeff Johnsons reportedly noted the issue and published a blog post on it.
“Perhaps this is just a Google Chrome bug, not intentional behavior, but the question is why it only affects Google sites, not non-Google sites,” Johnson wrote in his post. “I’ve tested using the latest Google Chrome version 86.0.4240.75 for macOS, but this behavior was also happening in the previous version of Chrome. I don’t know when it started.”
Users can set Chrome to delete all site cookies and data every time they quit the browser by navigating to Settings > Privacy and Security > Cookies and Other Site Data and toggling a switch labeled “Clear cookies and site data when you quit Chrome.”
This should delete data collected across all sites, but Johnson alleges that it doesn’t, writing: “Chrome exempts Google’s own sites, such as Search and YouTube, from this setting. After I quit and relaunch, the [YouTube] cookies are deleted, but the database storage, local storage, and service workers are still there!”
Google commented on the issue stating: “We are aware of a bug in Chrome that is impacting how cookies are cleared on some first-party Google websites. We are investigating the issue, and plan to roll out a fix in the coming days.”