Considering deleting Chrome from your phone? Try this tweak instead

The default Chrome browser on Android gives any site you visit access to data from your phone’s motion sensor, a security researcher found, prompting some in the media to urge users to delete Chrome immediately.

Security researcher Tommy Mysk tweeted on October 29 that “the Chrome browser on Android gives any website you visit access to your phone’s accelerometer data.” Smartphone accelerometers, which detect movement, are very sensitive. Researchers have found that using that sensor alone, an app or site can gather information about your emotional state, heart rate, sleeping habits, and more.

If you don’t want to stop using Chrome on your phone, you can take the more measured step of revoking the browser’s access to your motion sensor data. That access is on by default, so you have to turn it off manually. You can find directions for doing so here.

Mysk had originally been researching ways that iOS apps could access accelerometer data on iPhones when he discovered Chrome’s access to the sensor on Android.

If you no longer trust Chrome to ride around with you on the device you carry everywhere, you have a host of other options. Mysk points out in his tweet that unlike Chrome, the iOS default Safari protects access to the motion sensor by a permission. The Firefox, Brave, and DuckDuckGo mobile browsers don’t give websites access to the phone’s motion sensors at all.


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