What is Google Up to This Time?

This morning something surprising happened when I awoke my computer and started the day. I tweeted it and posted it to Yammer, where it has turned into some interesting conversations. Evidently, this isn’t happening to everyone. I am just special, or lucky, or some snarky sarcastic word along those lines. Oh, I know! Call me a randomly-assigned beta-tester, eh?

I’m using Chrome, and have appreciated the feature that allows me to preview or “quick view” files in non-web-ready formats such as PDFs, DOC, PPT, etc. This morning, Chrome announced that the feature was disabled because it was updated and needed more permissions to run.

What is Google Up to Now?

Well, that usually isn’t a problem, and I tend to be fairly loose with trusting Google with my stuff, so I am inclined to go ahead with approving it when they ask for more perms. Except this time.

What is Google Up to Now?

“It can access:
– Your data on all websites
– Your tabs and browsing activity.”

Oh, sure. Just keep handy my bank account number and password. My Amazon and Paypal accounts. My medical records. Any medical systems I log into as an employee. My employee data at the University. Nope, I don’t think so. So I declined this generous offer, and the result? I no longer have access to preview or quickview for the various filetypes, but instead go direct to download. Really. Well, it was a feature I liked, but the cost is too high. And explain to me WHY Google needs access to all that info just to show me a preview of a PDF? Come on, guys, really, this is ridiculous.


6 responses to “What is Google Up to This Time?

  1. Wow – glad I read this. I like chrome but you are right … why do they need access to all your data. Or are they referring to data you allow your browser to store already like passwords and forms?


  2. Yeah… I noticed that crap
    “Sorry, we are unable to retrieve the document for viewing or you don’t have permission to view the document.
    Alternatively, you can view the plain HTML (automatically redirecting).”
    CONSTANTLY flying up any time I went to preview a document via the google quick view option… first I thought ahhhh helll what’s wrong now. So thinking alright I’m not all a sudden crazy I began to hit web in search of a solution to this problem if such exist.

    I’m like you… google has enough access to data and I ain’t opening the door for any more than I have to!!! I am using Firefox 3.6.17… that said I opened my google search result in IE8 this morning just for a test and it too acts the same way. So that’s your chrome, my firefox and ie.

    Indeed, the question is what are they up to?… they can do it without me whatever it is. I don’t even allow google desktop search on any of my PC’s!


    • I think Google tries out some of these ideas somewhat randomly. From what I’m seeing and hearing this isn’t happening to everyone, just a few lucky souls. I hope they undo it, as this is a really bad idea. Or they better explain it and have a really persuasive and convincing argument for why.


  3. i am guessing they google doesn’t want or need access to any user data, but the harsh reality is that PDF malware exposes users to the possibility that the PDF reader might turn on them.

    in short: CYA.


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