Chrome Incognito Mode warning update – tracking lawsuit settled

Google Chrome Updates Incognito Mode Warning

Google Chrome has rolled out an updated warning for its built-in Incognito Mode, which is designed to allow private browsing by clearing user data from the same session after the browser is closed. The new message displayed when Incognito Mode is opened informs users that while other users on the device won’t be able to see their activity, websites can still collect user data. This change follows a long-disputed tracking lawsuit that raised concerns about the privacy of Incognito Mode.

Reported by MSPowerUser, the new warning on Google Chrome Canary 122.0.6251.0 has altered the message displayed when an Incognito Mode window is opened. The stable channel version of Google Chrome previously stated, “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.”

The latest message displayed by Google now informs users, “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 you visit and the services they use, including Google. Downloads, bookmarks, and reading list items will be saved.”

The updated warning explicitly informs users that websites can still collect data on their browsing activity, even when Incognito Mode is enabled. According to a screenshot shared by the publication, the details of items saved by Chrome locally on the device and the visibility of personal information to third parties remain unchanged.

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Google’s Response to Lawsuit

These changes to Chrome come in the wake of Google’s announcement about its readiness to settle a class action lawsuit that began in 2020. The lawsuit accused the company of tracking, collecting, and identifying users’ browsing data in real-time, even when Incognito Mode was enabled. The agreement is expected to be presented by the end of the month, with approval potentially granted in February.

Conclusion

Google’s update to the Incognito Mode warning in Chrome reflects the company’s response to concerns about the privacy of users’ browsing activity. The new warning aims to provide clearer information to users about the limitations of Incognito Mode, particularly regarding website data collection. As the legal proceedings unfold, it remains to be seen how the resolution of the lawsuit will impact Google’s approach to user privacy in the future.

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