By Associated Press Writer
updated 9/9/2008 11:36:05 AM ET 2008-09-09T15:36:05

Internet surfers should approach the preliminary version of Google Inc.'s new browser, Chrome, with caution because its security is untested, a spokesman for Germany's Federal Office for Information Security said.

"People should be aware that this is a beta version and that we don't yet know much about its security," spokesman Matthias Gaertner told The Associated Press. "Beta" refers to a test release.

Gaertner was quoted by a Berlin newspaper over the weekend as saying that Google's new browser "should not be utilized for general use," and subsequent media reports said his office had issued an official warning against Chrome.

Gaertner told the AP his comments were taken out of context.

"I was quoted correctly, but not completely," Gaertner said. "The point of criticism is the beta version — why does it need to be released in a beta version? But the other side of it is some very interesting new features that we look forward to exploring."

Stefan Keuchel, a spokesman for Google in Germany, noted that it was standard for Google to release new products in beta because it gives the company more flexibility to work out bugs and address user feedback. Some products remain in beta for years.

He said Google Chrome was secure, even in the current form. "Let me stress that Google Chrome is safe, stable, and really fast," Keuchel said.

Keuchel added that German officials had not contacted Google before Gaertner's concerns were published.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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