Why is google being spooky and filling in other people's gmails?
March 7, 2013 7:13 PM   Subscribe

This has happened twice now, and it is freaky. Google chrome on the iMac I use in my office at work (at a university) will have usernames and passwords for people who have never been in my office ever. The first time it happened it was my father's email, and the second time it was my stepmother's. Why would chrome be filling in these odd emails when it doesn't even save my own login information after closing the browser window?

The only mechanism I can posit is that I did plug my iPhone into my dad's iMac some time before this happened, but does that make any sense? Do iPhones indiscriminantly absorb gmail information and then effectively transmit it to other iMacs it comes into contact with? This seems to be a glaring security issue if it is the case.

I don't ever sync my phone when it asks, but occasionally iTunes will start syncing without me noticing, so that might be relevant.

Also, the two incidents happened many months apart, with no weirdness in between.

The login info persisted even when the browser was closed and re-opened, but I think restarting the computer cleared the info.

I did check to make sure the password was right, and sure enough the login info was correct, and I had access to my father and stepmother's emails.

Usually on this computer, when I open chrome and go to gmail it will either be blank or just have my username filled in, with no password.

I find this all weird, and no one has any explanation. Thank you for reading!
posted by artychoke to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
Best answer: Do you "sign in" to the Chrome browser when you use it? Perhaps your dad and/or stepmother used gmail on Chrome with you logged in to the browser on a different computer and your Chrome account retained their log in information.
posted by i_am_a_fiesta at 7:17 PM on March 7, 2013

Do you log into chrome? You can sync chrome over numerous computers and you may have it set to sync cookies, passwords, etc. I log into chrome to keep my bookmarks synced all over.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:18 PM on March 7, 2013

Came into say what i_am_a_fiesta said. See also: link.
posted by slide at 7:18 PM on March 7, 2013

Have you been signing into Chrome? If you log into Chrome (i.e., sync it up with your Google account,) your browsing history and bookmarks and saved passwords and a lot of other junk can appear out of the blue. Freaked me out the first time it happened to me on a computer I didn't use regularly.
posted by SMPA at 7:18 PM on March 7, 2013

Do you sync chrome? It's easy to turn it on by default, and if you installed chrome on their computer, it could have happened easily.

-- oops, or what others said :)
posted by Yavsy at 7:18 PM on March 7, 2013

Response by poster: Oooooh! Ok. Guess I unwittingly chrome-jacked my dad. Thanks, y'all!
posted by artychoke at 7:24 PM on March 7, 2013

Never mind the security, feel the convenience!
posted by flabdablet at 4:12 AM on March 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

I agree with flab. Disable the sync.
posted by yclipse at 4:35 AM on March 8, 2013

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