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Privacy Badger changes some of my Chrome settings without telling me, and then locks me out of them #243

pointyointment opened this Issue Jul 25, 2014 · 1 comment


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pointyointment commented Jul 25, 2014

I installed Privacy Badger a few days ago and then began noticing that I was no longer getting search suggestions when typing in the address bar. I went into Chrome's settings to find both "Use a web service to help resolve navigation errors" and "Use a prediction service to help complete searches and URLs typed in the address bar or the app launcher search box" turned off and grayed out so I couldn't turn them back on. I did a bit of research and found this thread on Google Product Forums pointing to Privacy Badger as the cause.

I realize that getting search suggestions involves sending what I type to the search engine, but I don't see this as a privacy issue; it's not going to any company I don't know about, and I'm going to send them the full search query anyway once I finish typing it. I would like to be able to use both search suggestions and PB's tracker blocking. For now, I will disable the extension. (I have a few others that do similar things.) I think PB should instead notify the user after installation that this may be a privacy issue, and ask if they'd like to disable these settings. Also, Chrome now displays a notice when an extension controls a setting, and I didn't see such a notice for PB controlling the privacy settings.

P.S. PB didn't interfere with other settings that could cause similar potential privacy issues ("Predict network actions to improve page load performance", "Send suspicious downloaded files to Google", "Enable phishing and malware protection", and "Use a web service to help resolve spelling errors"), so I'm a bit confused about why some were disabled and others left alone.

@cooperq cooperq added the ui label Jul 28, 2014

@cooperq cooperq self-assigned this Jul 28, 2014


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cooperq commented Jul 28, 2014

These are all good points, I plan to address this issue by creating an options page for privacy badger where these options could be turned back on. I will continue to address this in #202

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