Chrome Incognito Mode: Google on trial

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Steven L. Ken

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Google will have to answer before the law of the accusations made by three users in relation to the tracking of data while browsing in mode Incognito with Chrome. The Mountain View company had attempted to avoid court discussion, but Judge Lucy Koh ruled that the class action must continue.

Chrome has not properly informed users

The mode Incognito of Chrome allows you to surf the Internet "privately" because the browser does not save the history, cookies and information entered in the forms. It is therefore a feature that is mainly used to hide online activity from other people who use the same device. It is absolutely not true that it guarantees the maximum privacy, since it is possible to trace the sites visited.

In fact, when the user activates the mode, Chrome show this screen:

It clearly states that online activity may be visible to websites, internet providers, employers or schools. The only way to avoid tracking is to use a VPN. Despite this, some users have filed a $ 5 billion class action against Google.

The request would seem rather spurious, but Judge Lucy Koh has stated that Google did not inform users on data collection during private browsing mode. A Google spokesperson again highlighted that "Incognito" does not mean "invisible":

We strongly contest these claims and will strongly defend ourselves. Chrome's Incognito mode gives you the ability to browse the Internet without your activity being saved to your browser or device. As we clearly state every time a new tab is opened in Incognito, websites may be able to collect information on browsing activity during the session.

At the moment it is not possible to predict the outcome of the class action. In the past, an agreement was found between the parties with the payment of a sum of money lower than that requested by users.

Source: Bloomberg Chrome Incognito Mode: Google on trial
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