Be Tech Ready!!
Data PrivacyInternet

Attention: Google tracks your Private Browsing even in Incognito mode


Alphabet’s Google finds itself amid a settlement agreement following a lawsuit accusing the tech giant of covertly monitoring the online activities of users who believed they were browsing privately. In simple words, Google has been silently tracking what you browse in the Incognito mode. Scary? yes, it is.

The proposed class action, presided over by U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in Oakland, California, had a scheduled trial date of February 5, 2024. However, legal representatives for both Google and consumers jointly informed the court of a preliminary settlement, prompting the postponement of the trial.

While the exact terms of the settlement remain undisclosed, attorneys on both sides have confirmed the agreement of a binding term sheet through mediation. A formal settlement is anticipated to be presented for court approval by February 24, 2024.

The lawsuit, seeking a substantial $5 billion, alleged that Google, through its analytics, cookies, and applications, continued to track user activity despite individuals configuring Google’s Chrome browser to “Incognito” mode and other browsers to “private” browsing mode.

This development raises pertinent questions about the extent of user privacy in the digital realm. The very essence of “Incognito” or “private” browsing modes is to provide users with a sense of confidentiality, shielding their online actions from tracking. If the allegations hold true, this settlement could have broader implications for the technology industry, compelling a reevaluation of the adequacy of current privacy settings and mechanisms.

The case, formally known as Brown et al v Google LLC et al, has been a focal point for those advocating for stricter regulations around data privacy. As consumers increasingly rely on digital platforms, the need for robust protection of their online activities becomes paramount. This incident serves as a stark reminder that even tech behemoths must be held accountable for ensuring the privacy rights of their users.

As the details of the settlement unfold, it will be crucial to assess the impact on Google’s user trust and how this case might contribute to shaping future discussions around digital privacy laws and enforcement.

If Google can settle a case after being accused of tracking user’s incognito activities, it’s time to switch to other web browsers.