On Tuesday morning (2nd June), a class action law suit was filed against the Internet Search Giant for illegally invading users’ privacy by tracking them while they browsed the net using the Google Chrome Incognito Mode!
The problem with Chrome Incognito Mode
According to the complaint filed in the federal court in San Jose, California, Google gathers data through Google Analytics, Google Ad Manager and other applications and website plug-ins. This also includes smartphone apps, regardless of whether users click on Google-supported ads or if they browse in their ‘safe’ Incognito Mode.
This helps Google learn about users’ friends, hobbies, favorite foods, shopping habits. Google also tracks the “most intimate and potentially embarrassing things” they search for online, the complaint said.
The lawsuit seeks at least $5,000 of damages per user of the Incognito mode since 1st June, 2016 – which could lead to several billions in damages to Google.
Google has obviously responded saying they will “vigorously” fight the lawsuit – but the question still remains, is it safe?
At the end of the day, it is the responsibility of the user to be aware of the websites they visit and the information they enter. The fact that technology like Google Analytics, or Facebook Ads even for that matter, track users no matter what website they’re on is well established by now.
Google says activity in incognito doesn’t show up in Chrome browser history, so people who also use the same device won’t see those activities. However, it also adds that Incognito mode also doesn’t block third parties from using cookies.
Remember – Search the web safely!