Cybersecurity experts have continuously reminded users to always take precautionary measures each time they go online. Aside from using a trustworthy VPN service to keep others from spying on people's internet activity, many also recommend clearing the browser's cache and cookies regularly. The latter would be helpful if more than one person uses the device. Thus, one individual was alarmed after he noticed an issue with Chrome wherein it apparently excluded Google's websites from the data purge.

According to the Independent, Jeff Johnson, a programmer, observed that even when the "Clear cookies and site data when you quit Chrome" is activated, it makes an exception for certain pages. This includes Google Search and YouTube and appears to be isolated to the desktop version of the popular web browser. While these were designed to make the internet browsing experience faster and more convenient for people who regularly visit certain pages, it does so at the expense of privacy.

Among the data that is kept on the computer are usernames, passwords, site preferences, and other personal information that the system accesses when Chrome is launched. Johnson noted that there is a workaround to prevent the bug from exempting Google's first-party products. Users can access the browser's settings and manually add YouTube and Google to "Sites that can never use cookies."

"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," he stated. "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."

Shortly after the Chrome issue was brought up, a representative from Google acknowledged: "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."

Four malicious Chrome extensions have been caught infecting 500,000 users REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

A few months ago, the internet search group was likewise criticised by the tech industry after its own engineers admitted that there were certain settings related to privacy and location tracking that remained unresolved to date. As regulators continue to crack down on certain companies for alleged privacy concerns, users are instructed to always safeguard their personal information.