Chrome spinoff released by SRWare

September 25, 2008 // 12:48 p.m.

Tags: #chrome #google #iron #privacy #srware

With Google's Chrome browser being released under an open source licence, you knew it wouldn't be long before we saw the first project fork. Say hello to Iron.

According to DownloadSquad, Iron is a privacy-enhanced version of Google's surprise entry into the browser market. Based on the same source code as the main trunk, the German-developed Iron removes some of Google's oversight from your browsing history by removing the unique tag used to identify each user, remove the functionality that reports usage back to Google, stops server error messages from being forwarded through Google, and removes both the crash reporting and automatic updating functionality.

What you're left with is a pared-down version of the increasingly popular Chrome browser for users who think that Google has had quite enough insight into their personal data, thank you very much.

Documentation on the project is somewhat sparse – and in German, to boot – but in theory, as the project only requires the removal of functionality and not addition, it should be relatively straightforward for the team at SRWare to keep Iron updated with security patches and bugfixes as they are provided by Google.

Whether you consider it fair play to take the functionality developed and offered freely by Google in exchange for just a teensy bit more of your personal data is between you and your conscience.

Are there any Chrome holdouts a bit more willing to give it a go now that Google's all-seeing eye has been blindfolded, or is it still a poor competitor in an increasingly strong marketplace? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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