Using incognito mode might not be the best way to hide yourself on the internet.
Many of us think that it’s a somewhat ‘safer’ way to surf the internet. But in truth, the only thing it does is not save your browsing history.
But the misconception of what it can and can’t do has angered some people who used incognito mode on Chrome.
Because of this, the tech giant was slapped with a US$5 million lawsuit for illegally tracking millions of users.
The class action lawsuit states that Google needs to pay US$5,000 in damages for each violation, which covers wiretapping and privacy laws in California.
It was filed by the San Jose, California federal court on June 2. The court said that Google collects user’s data through its Google Analytics, Google Ad Manager, website plug-ins, and mobile apps in incognito mode. Google knows everything users do, including the “most intimate and potentially embarrassing things” they search on the internet.
However, if you open the incognito window in Chrome, it clearly states that:
Your activity might still be visible to:
– Websites you visit
– Your employer or school
– Your internet service provider
And it doesn’t save the following information:
– Your browsing history
– Cookies and site data
– Information entered in forms
Google spokesperson Jose Castaneda said, “Incognito mode in Chrome gives you the choice to browse the internet without your activity being saved to your browser or device. As we clearly state each time you open a new incognito tab, websites might be able to collect information about your browsing activity.”
Castaneda also said that the company plans to defend itself, because Google has clearly stated in its support page that incognito mode doesn’t hide your activity or location from websites you visit.
If you want to hide yourself on the internet, the best way is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). While these kind of services are quite costly, it’s a sure-fire way that your identity and information are kept from prying eyes.
So the next time you browse or search the internet in incognito mode, just remember that you’re still being tracked.