Earlier this month, software developer Jeff Johnson wrote about a strange issue he'd discovered that allowed Chrome to keep certain data stored from Google sites like YouTube and Search even after it was supposed to be deleted. This isn't a good look from Google, especially in light of recent events — but the company has responded with an explanation.

The specific setting that this issue bypasses is labeled "Clear cookies and site data when you quit Chrome." Normally, it does just that, getting rid of any tracking cookies or data a site has stored whenever you exit the browser. But apparently, certain Google sites like YouTube and Google Search continue to save things like database storage, local storage, and service workers even when the setting is enabled.

Obviously, Google's browser exempting Google's services from deleting user data is concerning, but the company responded with a statement saying the issue is caused by "a bug that is impacting how cookies are cleared on some first-party Google websites." The root cause is still under investigation, but Google plans to roll out an update to fix the issue "in the coming days."

This isn't the first time Chrome has encountered issues clearing data from Google's own sites. It's unclear exactly when this bug was first introduced, as Johnson notes that the issue has been present for at least the last two stable versions of Chrome for MacOS. As of now, the only solution to prevent Google sites from storing any sort of data is to manually add them to the list of sites that can never use cookies in Chrome settings. Regardless of how serious this bug turns out to be, it's certainly not the image that Google wants to be projecting on the heels of an antitrust lawsuit filed against it by the Department of Justice. The DOJ is already considering forcing the company to sell Chrome to a competitor, and this is just more evidence against Google in the court of public opinion.