Google anonymous browsing: a play on words

Google will have to appear in court after one A judge denied her request to join the lawsuits filed by users who claim the company is illegally invading the privacy of millions of people.

Lawsuits against big tech over privacy issues are not surprising these days.

But what makes this case stand out is that Google allegedly misled Chrome users by telling them they could browse privately using Incognito mode.


The judge said Google appears to be confusing users by presenting the incognito mode as a separate offering without clearly worded privacy terms for the service.

However, despite the implied promise of privacy, Google's cookies, analytics and in-app tools reportedly continue to track web browsing activity even after users turn on incognito mode.

Incognito browsing is a frequently used option for troubleshooting browser issues, as it disables extensions and caching. Two factors play an important role when websites are not displaying properly.

This feature is also useful as it essentially gives you a new identity to browse the web and then clears everything saved once you close the window. This is very handy if you are using a computer that is not yours and want to reduce your footprint.

The option to start an incognito window is below the hamburger icon (3 vertical dots).

Google's conduct is based on the idea that plaintiffs consent to Google collecting their data while browsing in private mode. But the court ruled otherwise because Google never explicitly told users it was doing this.

Every time a user visits a website that uses Google Analytics, Ad Manager or a similar Google service, Google software asks the user's browser to send a separate communication to Google. This happens even when users are browsing the web in private browsing mode, without the knowledge of the website owners or the users themselves.

The lawsuit was filed in 2020, and the plaintiffs are seeking $5.000 in damages per user, which could end up raising $5 billion.

As we all know, all major browsers have a private browsing feature that does not save browsing history, cookies or temporary files across browsing sessions. Unfortunately, we have misconceptions about what this feature actually does — and those misconceptions are encouraged by the language these browsers themselves use when describing their features.

A study of 2018 based on user surveys among 460 participants showed that participants use private mode to hide browsing activity, prevent login information from being stored, and avoid cookies. A very common misconception, believed by 56,3% of participants, was that if a user was signed in to a Google account, their search queries would not be saved in private mode.

One of the conclusions of the study was that the term "private" is excessive and the name "private operation" does not apply. The Best Technology Site in Greecefgns

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incognito mode, anonymous browsing

Written by giorgos

George still wonders what he's doing here ...

One Comment

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  1. Well, I am very convinced that Google has arrogance and because they know this that no matter what we common mortals discuss, they don't care because we need them and not us! But no matter how great your power is! , Google, you will always need the friendship of little people! As Aesop mentions to the lion 🦁 about the friendship of his mouse friend.

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