# Google Chrome’s Incognito Mode Update: Understanding Your Privacy
Google Chrome’s Incognito mode has long been a popular feature for users seeking more private browsing experiences. However, recent developments have shed light on the fact that websites continue tracking users through cookies and cross-site trackers, despite using Incognito mode. Google has now taken steps to update Chrome’s disclaimer to provide a more explicit explanation of this reality.
➤ Key Points
– Google settled a class-action lawsuit for $5 billion over alleged privacy violations in Chrome’s Incognito mode.
– Websites continue tracking users through cookies and cross-site trackers despite using Incognito mode.
– Google updated Chrome’s disclaimer to clarify that data collection by websites and services will not change when Incognito mode is enabled.
➤ The Lawsuit and Settlement
In 2020, Google faced a class-action lawsuit alleging privacy violations in Chrome’s Incognito mode. The plaintiffs claimed that Google continued tracking users even when they were browsing using Incognito mode. Despite the on-device browser history not being recorded, websites still tracked users through various means, with the collected data remaining associated with user profiles. In late 2021, Google agreed to settle the class-action lawsuit for $5 billion, without disclosing the specific conditions of the settlement.
➤ The Updated Disclaimer
The recent update to Chrome’s Incognito mode disclaimer aims to provide users with a clearer understanding of their privacy while using this mode. In the latest Canary build, a new privacy disclaimer has been introduced. It explicitly states that while others using the same device won’t see the user’s incognito activity, data collection by websites and the services they use, including Google, will not change. This update provides users with a more transparent view of what to expect in terms of their privacy during Incognito mode browsing.
➤ Future Availability
The updated Incognito mode disclaimer is currently available in Canary version 122 and is expected to roll out to the stable channel in the coming months, making the new message visible to users worldwide.
➤# Q: Does using Incognito mode make me completely anonymous?
A: No, Incognito mode does not make you completely anonymous. While it prevents the browser from storing your browsing history, websites can still track your activity through cookies and other means.
➤# Q: Can websites identify me when I’m using Incognito mode?
A: Websites can still track your activity when you’re using Incognito mode, and the data collected can be associated with your user profile.
➤# Q: What changes does the updated disclaimer bring to Incognito mode?
A: The updated disclaimer clarifies that while others using the same device won’t see your incognito activity, data collection by websites and the services they use, including Google, will not change.
The updated Incognito mode disclaimer in Google Chrome is a step in the right direction in terms of transparency. It provides users with a more realistic understanding of their privacy while using this mode. With the continued evolution of privacy regulations and user expectations, it’s crucial for companies to provide clear and accurate disclosures regarding data collection and privacy practices to empower users to make informed decisions about their online activities.
As users become increasingly aware of privacy concerns and data tracking, it’s essential for technology companies to prioritize transparency and user empowerment when it comes to data privacy features and disclosures.