Google Potentially Getting Sued for Tracking Users in Incognito Mode
Google assures that it has spoken to its users in advance about the fact that their data will only be shared with third parties when surfing incognito. However, Google has stated that “every time you open a new Incognito tab, websites will still be able to collect information about your browsing activities during your session,”
The world’s most popular browser, Google Chrome, is the source of a legal battle it faces. A judge has ruled that Google is facing a lawsuit from plaintiffs who accuse the Chrome browser of tracking users while they are in incognito mode. The lawsuit seeks $5 billion in damages, according to The Verge.
The technology problem underlying the report is a feature called “Incognito Mode” in the Chrome browser that is designed to protect people who surf the web anonymously. Chrome users can switch on incognito modes to protect their browsing history, sessions, and cookies from websites they want to use for marketing, ads, or targeted purposes. Incognito mode has problems with those who use it since its activity from web pages has been detectable for years, even before the implementation of the file system API, Chrome developer Paul Irish tweeted last year.
If you have ever searched inappropriate content in a Google Chrome incognito window and assumed that the track will be cleaned the moment you leave the window, you have bad news. When you switch on the incognito mode, the user has the option to search anonymously on the Internet, but their activity is stored in the browser and device, not incognito.
Cookies allow advertisers to track users as they move between multiple websites. Google Chrome last year announced its intention to support third-party cookies. These cookies hamper Apple’s Safari and Mozilla’s Firefox, but Google Chrome should do the same for itself.
The lawsuit focuses on how Google collects and tracks the online activities of users who surf the Internet in private. When users surf in incognito mode, Google uses other tracking tools that it makes available to website publishers and advertisers to keep tabs on the websites that users visit.
The Chrome browser prohibits third-party cookies from collecting this information. Earlier this month, Google said it would phase out these cookies, but when it did, it did not replace them with other tracking technologies. While the changes apply to the web version of Chrome, Google continues to track users on the mobile version of the browser.
What is your thought on incognito mode? Let us know in the comment section below.