New Chrome beta pushes privacy into overdrive

Google has launched a new beta of its Chrome browser, with a renewed emphasis on privacy features.

New Chrome beta pushes privacy into overdrive

Chrome users will now be given greater control over privacy issues such as cookies, plug-ins, JavaScript and images. These changes will allow users to pick and choose the sites that can load these files, or set all cookies to be automatically deleted when the browser is closed.

The new features arrive in addition to Chrome’s Incognito Mode, which allows users to surf the web without leaving traces in their cookies, web history or temporary internet folders.

Google’s new privacy settings come after weeks of attacks from consumer groups over the privacy faults in Google Buzz, which was slammed for automatically adding and updating email contacts with personal information.

Indeed, the new Chrome features might be regarded as a way of beefing up Google’s privacy credentials, after CEO Eric Schmidt dismissed the notion of user privacy in an interview with CNBC, saying “if you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place”.

In addition to the privacy revamp, the Chrome beta will feature a new service that automatically translates web pages or programmes that are being viewed through the browser, even those with non-roman scriptures such as Arabic or Korean.

“The translate feature will hopefully open up the web for people to discover new, compelling content – no matter what language it’s written in,” said Wieland Holfelder, Google’s engineering director.

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