Google sued for abusive collection of information using Chrome in Incognito mode

Recommended by Google to those who want to block abusive practices of tracking and collecting information about users, the Chrome Incognito mode would not be as secure as previously thought.

Caught between fighting the abusive practices of tracking Internet users and their own business interests, as an advertising provider, Google seems to have chosen a compromise that does not exactly respect the interests of users. On the one hand, Google has introduced new Chrome features to neutralize cookies usually associated with abusive practices, but there are allegations that Google would use a double-standard when it comes to protecting their own interests. According to the accusations brought before an American court and accepted by a judge, the Incognito mode does not even offer the full security promised by Google.

What Chrome Incognito is and how it helps you

Incognito Mode in Google Chrome is a feature that is activated by using the “New Incognito Window” option or by pressing the key combination CTRL + Shift + N. The same option is available in the Chrome version of mobile, as well as in other browsers such as Edge or Desktop and smartphone safari. In fact, other Google applications such as Maps or YouTube have recently begun to offer this capability.

Incognito mode is easy to spot, the tabs have a dark background, and the icon with the detective hat and glasses appears somewhere in a corner of the web browser.

In short, Incognito mode is dedicated to those who want more privacy in the web browser. If more than one person has access to these devices using Incognito mode, the history of the pages you visit is not saved. Also, personal passwords and other such details are not kept in the browser. In theory, not even online sites or services that use cookies can track you this way, but the truth is somewhere in between.

Yes, a user is harder to recognize in Incognito, but there are a few things he can do to be recognized. For example, if you log in to any popular service in Incognito mode, whether it’s Facebook or Google, the user will be immediately detected.

Another thing the Incognito mode does is prevent history from syncing between devices. However, if you save a bookmark in Incognito Mode, for example, it will be saved on the device you are using. When you close the Incognito window, Chrome will delete all cookies and the history of the pages you visit. It will also not offer the option to save passwords.

Incognito browsing sessions, monitored by Google

In June last year, three users filed a lawsuit in a U.S. court, claiming that Google continues to track browsing sessions, misleading users’ expectations of how Incognito works.

Admittedly, even Google warns that Incognito is not the “invisible mode”, the activity can still be followed by the sites visited, the school, the employer or the ISP provider, in certain situations. For example, voluntary authentication in any user account overrides the protection provided by Incognito mode.

But the allegations come from other questionable practices, with the Chrome developer also accused of indirectly collecting information through companies that use Google services. For example, if a site logged in to Incognito mode uses plugins to display ads distributed by Google, user identity data could reach Google as well.

The class action lawsuit filed in the US court aims to award damages of at least $ 5 billion.

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