Google to Delete Chrome Incognito Mode Data After Lawsuit

Google has decided to remove a huge amount of data from it’s Chrome browser’s Incognito mode. This comes after a lawsuit in California. The lawsuit was settled in December 2023. Google will now get rid of old data from Incognito mode. It will also tell users more clearly what data it collects. Users will have the choice to not allow cookies that record their browsing.

Even though Google said Incognito mode data was never tied to specific users or used to personalize accounts , the lawsuit claimed Google made people think Incognito mode would stop all tracking.

During the lawsuit, it came out that some Google employees were worried the company was misleading about how private Incognito mode really is. Others made jokes about it.

In 2018, a Google employee suggested changing the name and icon of Incognito mode because it suggested more privacy than it actually offered. They joked that it should have an icon like a character from “The Simpsons” who pretends to be someone else but is not very good at hiding it.

High-level Google and Alphabet executives also knew that marketing Incognito mode as private was tricky. They admitted they had to use careful words because it wasn’t completely private.

The lawsuit initially asked for up to $5000 for each user affected by Google collecting data in Incognito mode. But the final settlement didn’t give money to individual users. It does let them sue Google on their own, though.

Since the settlement, lawyers have already filed 50 more complaints in California courts about it. This move by Google is a big deal for people who used Incognito mode, especially for private searches.

Image: DIW-Aigen

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