Chrome Incognito Mode: Google on trial

Chrome Incognito Mode: Google on trial

Chrome Incognito Mode

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

Chrome has not properly informed users

The Incognito mode 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 maximum privacy, since it is possible to trace the sites visited.

In fact, when the user activates the mode, Chrome shows 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 said that Google did not inform users about data collection during the mode private browsing. A Google spokesperson again pointed out that "incognito" does not mean "invisible":

We strongly contest these claims and will strongly defend ourselves. Chrome's Incognito browsing mode offers the ability to browse the Internet without the activity being saved on the 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 has been reached between the parties with the payment of a sum of money less than that requested by users.

Source: Bloomberg

Google fails to quash Incognito mode user tracking, privacy lawsuit

Google has failed to have a proposed class-action lawsuit quashed that alleges the company violated user privacy by collecting data in Incognito browser modes. 

The lawsuit, originally filed in June 2020, claims that Google tracks and collects consumer browsing history, among other activities, even when Chrome's Incognito or other privacy-based browser sessions are in use. 

Filed in the District Court of Northern California, the class-action complaint alleges that when an individual visits a web page served by Google services -- such as plug-ins, Google Analytics, and Google Ad Manager -- data is collected, no matter the browser mode. 

The lawsuit says that Google is 'intercepting, tracking, and collecting communications' and harvesting the data of users without obtaining consent, as noted by sister site CNET.

In total, the class-action lawsuit is seeking $5 billion from Google and parent company Alphabet. 

While Google sought to have the lawsuit shut down, presiding US District Judge Lucy Koh dismissed the request on Friday, saying that the tech giant 'did not notify users that Google engages in the alleged data collection while the user is in private browsing mode' in her ruling, as reported by Bloomberg.  

In a statement, a Google spokesperson said the company 'strongly dispute[s] these claims' and will 'defend ourselves vigorously against them.'

'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,' the spokesperson added, with such warnings displayed, as below, when a new incognito session in Chrome is launched.


In October, Google became the target of an antitrust lawsuit filed by the US Department of Justice (DoJ). The US agency claims that Google holds an 'illegal' monopoly over online search services and advertising, and further accused the firm of 'exclusionary practices that are harmful to competition.'

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