Chrome incognito mode is not private as all tech savvies know, but the allegations are on the way. Google faces a lawsuit that could in the worst case cost the company several billion dollars in damages. The trigger is the fact that the private browsing function in Chrome is not as private as it appears.
In the class-action lawsuit filed in a federal court in San Jose, California, the plaintiffs complain that Google continues to monitor user behavior even if they switch to incognito mode. The company continues to use Google Analytics, Google Ad Manager, and other services and plug-ins to collect data that can be easily matched to the user’s user profile, reports the Reuters news agency.
This coincides with the warnings of various security experts who repeatedly stressed that the private browsing mode should never be confused with a real anonymization tool. The functionality therefore only offers rudimentary protection against the usage behavior of individual users being tracked further.
No Problem For Google?
Google also said in a statement that when opening an incognito window in Chrome, users are certainly advised that websites may be able to collect information about browser use. Accordingly, one is against the allegations that the users are unclear and want to defend themselves against the accusations.
The plaintiffs see a deception of the user. Because from their point of view, the tracking is not random if the users are careless. Rather, from their point of view, the entire functionality of the various Google services is coordinated so that you can keep track of the user and analyze their usage behavior for advertising optimization. The resulting damage is comparatively small in individual cases – the lawsuit claims $ 5000 – but the large amount can potentially add up to billions of dollars due to a large number of potentially affected users.