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Washington Post tech columnist Geoffrey Fowler spent a week analyzing the popular Google Chrome web browser and concluded that Chrome “looks a lot like surveillance software.”

Fowler found that after a week’s use of Chrome, he had 11,189 requests for tracker “cookies” that would have been blocked by other web browsers such as Mozilla Firefox.

Tracking cookies are tracking your online browsing habits to help the Google-owned Adsense advertising agency better understand what advertisements you might be interested in seeing.

Google Adsense is how Google makes its revenue by splitting a 60/40 revenue share with its publishers. A subsidiary of Adsense, Adwords, also charges money for businesses to get exposure in Google search results.

Google being such a large company helps keep the World Wide Web safe by offering the best security imaginable so hundreds of millions of independent publishers can display advertisements safely without readers needing to worry if they may be subjected to viruses and other malware.

Research has suggested that people prefer seeing advertisements they might be interested in rather than irrelevant ads. Without tracking cookies in place, ad agencies such as Adsense have no way of knowing what ads you might be interested in.

You don’t need to be a tech expert to see what tracking cookies a web browser is deploying. It is in fact public information where the browsers purposefully show you the information. Users of Google Chrome can always see the cookies that are tracking them at any time. To view them on Chrome, click on the padlock icon to the left of the web address in the address bar.

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