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Google has to deal with incognito mode tracking lawsuit, judge rules

Chrome-Incognito-mode

A judge rule forces Google to face a lawsuit over a possible privacy protection violation.

In July 2020, Google was sued for USD5 billion after allegedly tracking users despite browsing in incognito mode.

Google has requested to dismiss the class action case, which Federal Judge Lucy Koh denied.

The judge has determined that Google “did not notify” users that it kept collecting data even when they are in Incognito mode, a privacy feature on Google Chrome. This gives the plaintiffs enough ground to advance with the case.

As per the lawsuit participants, Google has misled users by saying their info is private under incognito mode despite still monitoring their activities.

Google defended that, since users clicked “Agree” on its privacy policy, they knew their data are being collected. Apparently, being in incognito mode “does not mean invisible” and that sites can still see users’ activity.

Enthusiasts know that incognito mode is very much limited in terms of privacy security. Essentially, it’s no more than a way to prevent the browser from recording your search history and cookies. But the thing is, the normal user may not be aware of this.

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In a statement given to Engadget, Google spokesperson José Castañeda said that they “strongly dispute these claims” and added that Chrome’s incognito mode gives users a choice to browse the internet without their activity saved to the browser or device.

Castañeda added that “As we clearly state each time you open a new incognito tab, websites might be able to collect information about your browsing activity during your session.”

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