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Warning, Or Maybe Not

Warning. This is not a warning.

In an interview with The Washington Post on Monday, Google senior privacy counsel Jane Horvath was asked about a reported "warning" issued by the German government's Federal Office for Information Security.

According to Germany's top privacy official, Peter Schaar, the information security office had warned the public not to use Google's new Web browser Chrome because it was not fully vetted and had security holes.

"There was no warning issued," Horvath insisted.

She was right.

The Germans had issued a recommendation -- not to use the browser.

"We have not made a warning," said Matthias Gaertner, a spokesman for Germany's Federal Office for Information Security. "We have given a recommendation for the private user not to use Google Chrome, which is in a beta version, for daily Internet use."

Turns out the German IT experts conducted tests on the software and found "security gaps," according to Gaertner. "If you are using this version for on-line banking, perhaps phishing attacks could be successful."

Moreover, he said, though beta versions are fine for testing, they generally should not be used for general purpose browsing.

Google, a spokeswoman said, has no comment.

--Ellen Nakashima

By Monica Norton  |  September 10, 2008; 2:55 PM ET  | Category:  Ellen Nakashima
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