Ghostboard pixel Skip to content

Google Discloses That Incognito Mode in Chrome Isn't Entirely 'Private'

Google is informing users what incognito mode really is...

Google made it to the headlines, again.

Instead of making a controversial move, this time, we are talking about a remedy move to save themselves from another class-action suit.

So, what's the story? Here we go:

Google was already in the middle of a class-action lawsuit regarding the incognito mode, where they were accused of tracking user activity. And, they agreed to settle the lawsuit.

To conclude that and move on, they will have to make the necessary changes to prevent another lawsuit against them.

The changes to be made appeared recently on Google Chrome's Canary (unstable) build, as originally spotted by MSPowerUser.

It is in the form of a better notice (and disclosure) when launching the incognito mode, where you are informed of the privacy choices with the mode.

google chrome new incognito notice
Updated Google Chrome Incognito disclaimer

While a message was already there, it wasn't as accurate as it needed to be.

The earlier message (which can now be found on stable Google Chrome releases) was:

Now you can browse privately, and other people who use this device won’t see your activity. However, downloads, bookmarks and reading list items will be saved. Learn more
Older Google Chrome Incognito disclaimer
Older Google Chrome Incognito disclaimer

The updated message looks like this (as shown in the screenshot above):

Others who use this device won’t see your activity, so you can browse more privately. This won't change how data is collected by websites that you visit and the services that they use, including Google. Downloads, bookmarks and reading list items will be saved. Learn more

In the newer message, you can clearly observe that they no longer claim it to be a “private” experience, but a “more private” experience than the usual mode. Sure, the links stay the same where you can find out more on Google's policies and how incognito mode works.

Of course, a better course of action could have been “actually” improving the incognito mode instead of just updating the notice. But, do we expect Google to really do that?

So, I believe, it is better for users to be informed what they are opting in for, instead of being misled.

💬 What do you think of this change with Google Chrome's disclosure on the incognito mode to users? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Via: ArsTechnica

More from It's FOSS...