The Chrome browser Incognito Mode is not as Private as you think it is!
June 4, 2020
Google faces $5 billion class-action lawsuit
Google Chrome provides users with the Incognito mode. Not just Chrome but nearly all modern web browser applications these days have a private browsing mode to offer. It keeps users browsing history hidden.Google is being sued in a $5 billion class-action lawsuit, which accuses the company of illegally invading the privacy of millions of users. In short, Google is accused of tracking private browsing activities of millions of Internet users.A complaint filed in the San Jose, California federal court accuses Google of collecting data through services such as Google Analytics, Google Ad Manager, and more, in addition to website plug-ins and smartphone apps. As per the complaint, Google is able to gather users’ private browsing data without users explicitly clicking on Google-supported ads.This way, Google services in question could collectively learn about users’ friends, hobbies, favorite foods, shopping habits, and more. According to the complaint, Google also keeps a tab on “most intimate and potentially embarrassing things” users browse through incognito mode.The complaint said:“[Google] cannot continue to engage in the covert and unauthorized data collection from virtually every American with a computer or phone.”
In response to these allegations, Google spokesperson said:“As we clearly state each time you open a new incognito tab, websites might be able to collect information about your browsing activity.”
In fact, Google Chrome also makes it amply clear while starting the incognito mode people you share the device with won’t be able to see your activity.
In fact, this is the message Chrome displays when you start a new Incognito window:
You’ve gone incognito
Now you can browse privately, and other people who use this device won’t see your activity. However, downloads and bookmarks will be saved. Learn more
Chrome won’t save the following information:
- Your browsing history
- Cookies and site data
- Information entered in forms
Your activity might still be visible to:
- Websites you visit
- Your employer or school
- Your internet service provider
Nothing there about tracking via Google Analytics or Google Ads, is there? In fact quite the contrary: “cookies and site data” are explicitly listed under data Google will NOT save.