Google admits mistake with Chrome Terms of Service

Sep 4, 2008
0

Google's Chrome is still gathering momentum - a quick glance at our stats over the last 72hrs show that 6-percent of visitors are using the new browser - but it's not without its issues.  SlashGear readers have been sharing their experiences here, and reporting everything from scrolling problems through Facebook issues and full-on crashes.  Perhaps more concerning, though, were the Terms of Service, which seemed to give Google permission to use your content as it sees fit.  Now Google have admitted that they made a mistake.

Section 11 used to contain the following, apparently pretty boilerplate and used by Google for its other, content creation apps (such as Blogger and GMail):

11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. This license is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services.

11.2 You agree that this license includes a right for Google to make such Content available to other companies, organizations or individuals with whom Google has relationships for the provision of syndicated services, and to use such Content in connection with the provision of those services.

Now, having been updated, Section 11 reads as following:

11. Content license from you
11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services.

The Google team are now going through the different language versions of Chrome (of which there are in excess of 40) to alter the licence wording, as well as removing the incorrect sections from the download installer.  The changes are affective immediately and retroactively, which means that if, as we know many readers did, you installed Chrome as soon as it was released, you'll be covered by this new version of the ToS.

Ironically, Google needn't have publicised this change (though not doing so with such controversy about it would've been ill-advised).  Section 19 of the ToS allows them to alter the content of the terms & conditions of use at any time, without Chrome necessarily informing you that it has happened:

19. Changes to the Terms
19.1 Google may make changes to the Universal Terms or Additional Terms from time to time. When these changes are made, Google will make a new copy of the Universal Terms available at http://www.google.com/accounts/TOS?hl=en and any new Additional Terms will be made available to you from within, or through, the affected Services.


Must Read Bits & Bytes