Google has recently started testing a “Sign in to Chrome” prompt that appears when users of Chrome sign into Gmail. Google has confirmed that this is a test for Gmail, but hasn’t provided any further details. A spokesperson for Google provided a statement claiming that the company is always experimenting with new features, but that they don’t have anything specific to share with the public currently.
It’s important to note that not everyone is seeing the new test prompt. In order for it to appear, users need to be using Chrome and must not be signed into the browser already. Even under these circumstances, the test prompt page for Gmail appears only once or twice per account since it is just an experiment.
Although Google isn’t doing anything wrong, people who are concerned about privacy may become concerned. Most internet users do not realize that they are providing Google with their local data when they click the option to “Sign in to Chrome.” Most people wouldn’t care, but there’s still the concern that they should be informed about what information they are providing to Google and how that information is being used. There are a lot of people who are now suggesting that Google should include an opt-in page to ensure that people are aware, even though this is just a test process.
While it is just a test page, it should be kept in mind that many of the options that Google has tested over the years have eventually been released and eventually gained the acceptance of its group of users. Even if people are mildly concerned about the current test page, it’s very likely that Google will release a final version ready for the public that may also acknowledge some of their fears about internet privacy.