Microsoft is going on the offensive against Google, accusing the search giant of creating a browser that does not respect user privacy. The company posted a video, embedded below, on TechNet Edge with the following description: "Watch a demo on how Google Chrome collects every keystroke you make and how Internet Explorer 8 keeps your information private through two address bars and In Private browsing."
Microsoft's first criticism is Chrome's combining the address bar and the search box into a single entry box; IE8 keeps those fields separate. "By keeping these boxes separate, your privacy is better protected and the addresses of the sites you're visiting aren't automatically shared with Microsoft, or anyone else," says IE product manager Pete LePage.
"As I start to type an address into the address bar, Fiddler [a Web debugging proxy] shows that for nearly every character I type, Chrome sends a request back to Google," LePage says. "I haven't even hit enter yet to load the website and Google is already getting information about the domain and sites I'm visiting." Right after that, he shows how typing something in the address bar in IE8 is very different—nothing is shared with the search provider, according to LePage.
In the second part of the video, LePage demonstrates how Internet Explorer 8 has a privacy feature called InPrivate, a privacy mode to allow browsing without leaving a trace. Unfortunately, he fails to acknowledge the existence of Google Chrome's Incognito, which disables history tracking, which undercuts his argument.
It's worth taking a closer look at LePage's first accusation. Even though he didn't really elaborate, the reason for the striking difference for IE8's and Chrome's behaviors is really that simple: IE8 has two boxes and Chrome has one. LePage makes an important mistake in his accusation against Google: his statement should not be "Chrome sends a request back to Google" but it should be "Chrome sends a request back to the search provider." He makes this distinction with IE8 but does not with Chrome. The information is being sent so that the search provider can help the user choose a query right in their browser.
We downloaded Fiddler to make some comparisons of our own. As we suspected, Chrome can be set to send information on every keystroke to Bing (or any other search engine that supports Search Suggestions) instead of Google. The same behavior occurs in IE8, but only in the search bar. LePage is only correct in his assertion that IE8 does not send information to anyone when the user types into the address bar.
See for yourself: download Fiddler and type something into the address bar on Chrome and watch how Fiddler reacts when you have Search Suggestions on and off. Then do the same in both IE8 fields.
Source: ars technica