News

Google to Face Lawsuit Over ‘Incognito Mode’ Allegations!

If you use Google Chrome (and we’re pretty sure most of you reading this do) then you’ll undoubtedly be familiar with the ‘Incognito’ mode function. In a nutshell, it’s a feature within the browser that allows you to search the internet without any automatic associations being made to any of your prior activity and allows (generally) nothing you do being applied to your history. It should be noted though that it is not (and never had been) a 100% privacy function!

Following a report via The Verge, however, it seems that Google is going to have to go to court over the feature as a class-action lawsuit has successfully argued (at least in principle) that the feature is misleading.

Google Goes to Court Over Chrome ‘Incognito’ Mode!

Following a legal case issued last June, three people have accused Google of being a “pervasive data tracking business”. They allege that even if people take proactive steps to prevent such activity, Chrome’s ‘Incognito’ function still possesses active tracking capabilities that are, overall, misleading to what the feature represents.

In the latest hearing, Google did attempt to have this case summarily dismissed. Following a ruling by a Californian judge, however, it has been deemed that the tech giant “did not notify users that Google engages in the alleged data collection while the user is in private browsing mode.”

What Does Google Have to Say?

With the case not set to officially go to trial, Google has said that they continue to dispute the allegations made. In an official statement, the company has said:

“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.”

Now, in fairness, if you go to open an ‘incognito’ tab now, you’ll clearly see that Google does notify you (albeit, not exactly in your face) that incognito is not a 100% privacy protection service. I do, however, think there is possibly a case to be answered that, overall, it could be considered very misleading to the casual user. With that being said though, I still don’t think this case will be won by the plaintiffs. I mean, call me crazy, but I suspect Google’s pockets (for the lawyers) are deeper!

What do you think? – Let us know in the comments!

Mike Sanders

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