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#en #privacy #google #facebook

chrome asks for facebook password on... google.com???

The weirdest thing happened to me some minutes ago. I was on google.com, searching when suddenly, chrome asked permission to use my... facebook credentials!



I managed to recreate the event. The following steps worked every time:

  1. I visit facebook.com and login to my profile.
  2. I log out of facebook.com
  3. I go to google.com and search for “facebook”
  4. I leave the results page open.
  5. After a couple of seconds (sometimes, up to 20 seconds), the credentials pop-up appears!

(For the record: OS X 10.8.3, Google Chrome 26.0.1410.65)

This probably means two things (and any input on this is more than welcome):

  1. google.com makes my browser to ask for elements coming from www.facebook.com.
  2. Had I been logged in (or maybe, despite me not being logged in) to facebook.com, facebook would be able to know that I searched for a specific term in google.com!

As I said, any input on this is more than welcome, I don’t claim to be an expert.

-- As pointed out on this HN thread, this is probably due to a prefetching technique Chrome uses to speed browsing.

Even so, this behaviour is probably giving out information to third parties about me that I wouldn’t want to give away.

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